Accelerated Certification in Teaching

Education Department

Degrees offered

Dual-Degree

Campuses

Main Campus
Southern Maryland Higher Education Center (SMHEC)

Summary

The Accelerated Certification for Teaching Program (ACT) is designed to prepare women and men with non-teaching degrees for teaching careers. It is a non-degree, graduate-level, state-approved Teacher Education Program. Participants include recent college graduates, career changers, retirees seeking a second career, and persons already teaching who wish to become certified.

Through the Accelerated Certification for Teaching Program of Study, eligibility for Maryland Certification is possible in Elementary Education, Early Childhood Education, Secondary education in the following content fields: Business, Computer Science, English, History, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, or Theatre, Special Education, and PreK-12 Education in Art, Music, ESOL and World Languages. Early Childhood and Special Education courses are offered which make it possible for the Elementary Education candidate to earn dual certification in Early Childhood and Special Education when such courses are taken in conjunction with the Elementary Education Program of Study. Secondary and PreK-12 Education candidates may also earn dual certification in Special Education. Students may also earn dual certification in Secondary content areas, such as a dual certification in Secondary Math and Computer Science.

New students may begin the Program in any term. A schedule of weekend, evening, and summer classes allows most students to continue full-time jobs while enrolled. Although a Program of Study can be tailored to accommodate a variety of personal circumstances, continuity in pursuing the coursework is necessary. An internship, normally the final step in the Program, requires a full-time commitment.

Students who have been hired for full time teaching positions may be permitted to use their teaching position during the student teaching internship. This circumstance must be approved by both the university and the student's principal and students will still need to meet all internship requirements including observations, edTPA submission, assignments and portfolios.

Students are expected to complete the entire sequence of professional education courses at Notre Dame of Maryland University. With permission, a limited number of courses may be considered for transfer into the Program. However, methods courses must be taken at Notre Dame.

Candidates who complete the ACT Program may choose to apply for admission to the Master of Arts in Leadership in Teaching. Specific courses completed in the ACT Program with a 3.0 or above may be applied to the degree.

Program of Study

The ACT Program offers professional education courses which provide the knowledge and skills essential to the beginning teacher and which are necessary for certification by the Maryland State Department of Education.

Each student will develop a plan of study with the ACT advisor upon admission. In addition to the coursework in education, this plan requires the fulfillment of any undergraduate liberal arts content courses necessary for certification. These undergraduate liberal arts content courses may be taken concurrently with ACT courses at NDMU or at other colleges and universities. Frequent and consistent contact with the ACT advisor is expected of each student to assure steady progress in the Program.

Upon entering the Program and periodically thereafter, candidates attend a series of non-credit workshops orienting them to the teaching profession. Throughout the Program of Study, participants will prepare a professional portfolio documenting their competence according to departmental and state standards. Students will also be required to complete and submit an edTPA portfolio during the internship semester.


Curriculum

Content relevant to prospective teachers includes the following strands: human growth and learning, curricular and instructional planning, classroom organization and management, working with diverse populations, assessment, application of technology to management and instruction, and educational professionalism. Through the ACT Program these strands are integrated into required core courses, curriculum and methods courses particular to the certification track, and field experience and student teaching.

Required for Certification in Secondary Education fields and PreK-12 certification fields art, music and world languages
EDU-519 Human Development and Learning
EDU-538 English Language Learners for the Classroom Teacher
EDU-544 Educational Assessment
EDU-556 Technology for Instruction and Management
EDU-580 Reading and Writing in the Content Areas Part I
EDU-551 Reading and Writing in the Content Areas Part II
SPE-526 Special Education for the Classroom Teacher
Select one Methods of Teaching in Secondary School course from the following:

EDU-530 Art
EDU-531 English
EDU-532 World Languages
EDU-533 Mathematics
EDU-537 Science
EDU-539 Social Studies
Methods course for Business, Music, Theatre and Computer Science candidates chosen in collaboration with academic advisor
EDU-600 edTPA for Educators (1 credit per certification area)
EDU-601 Internship: Teaching in Secondary School or EDU 605 Internship: Student Teaching in Art

Required for Certification in Elementary Education
EDU-509 Processes and Acquisition of Reading
EDU-510 Elementary Reading Materials
EDU-511 Assessment of Reading
EDU-513 Science and Social Studies in the Elementary School
EDU-519 Human Development and Learning
EDU-538 English Language Learners for the Classroom Teacher
EDU-542 Instruction in Reading
EDU-556 Technology for Instruction and Management
EDU-592 Mathematics in the Elementary School
EDU-600 edTPA for Educators (1 credit per certification area)
EDU-602 Internship: Teaching in the Elementary School
SPE-526 Special Education for the Classroom Teacher
Elementary Education candidates may pursue a dual certification in Early Childhood Education (preK – 3) with the following additional class:

EDU-515 Curriculum and Methods for Early Childhood Education
EDU-600 edTPA for Educators (1 credit per certification area)
EDU-603 Internship: Early Childhood (Dual certification candidates will complete both a 3 credit elementary school placement and a 3 credit early childhood placement during the internship semester)

Required for Certification in Secondary Special Education
EDU-519 Human Development and Learning
SPE-526 Special Education for the Classroom Teacher
EDU-538 English Language Learners for the Classroom Teacher
EDU-53(_) Methods of Teaching in Secondary School (required if pursuing a dual certification in special education and a secondary content area – take the course matching the content area)
EDU-551 Reading and Writing in the Content Areas Part II
EDU-556 Technology for Instruction and Management
EDU-580 Reading and Writing in the Content Areas Part I
SPE-543 Special Education Assessment
SPE-546 Methods of Teaching Students with Special Needs
SPE-571 Vocational Skills
SPE-576 Communication Skills for the School-based Professional
SPE-601 Internship: Teaching in Special Education 
EDU-600 edTPA for Educators (1 credit per certification area)
EDU-601 Internship: Teaching in Secondary School (Candidates will complete both a 3 credit special education placement and a 3 credit secondary placement during the internship semester, if seeking dual certification)
Required for Certification in Elementary Special Education
EDU-519 Human Development and Learning
EDU-556 Technology for Instruction and Management
SPE-526 Special Education for the Classroom Teacher
EDU-538 English Language Learners for the Classroom Teacher
EDU-509 Processes and Acquisition of Reading
EDU-510 Elementary Reading Materials
EDU-511 Assessment for Reading Instruction
EDU-542 Instruction in Reading
EDU-592 Mathematics in the Elementary School (required if seeking dual certification with elementary education)
SPE-544 Special Education Assessment
SPE-546 Methods of Teaching Students with Special Needs
SPE-570 Individualizing the Curriculum: Strategies for Holistic Intervention
SPE-576 Communication Skills for the School-based Professional
SPE-601 Internship: Teaching in Special Education
EDU-600 edTPA for Educators (1 credit per certification area)
EDU-602 Internship: Teaching in the Elementary School (Candidates will complete both a 3 credit special education placement and a 3 credit elementary placement during the internship semester if seeking dual certification.)
 

Required for certification in ESOL PreK-12

EDU-508 Issues in TESOL 
EDU-545 Principles of Linguistics
EDU-546 Methods and Materials for Second Language Acquisition
EDU-547 Assessing Second Language Acquisition
EDU-548 Language Learning
EDU-586 Teaching Reading and Writing to Students with Limited English Proficiency
EDU-556 Technology for Instruction and Management
EDU-519 Human Development and Learning
SPE-526 Special Education for the Classroom Teacher
EDU-600 edTPA for Educators (1 credit per certification area)
EDU-611 Internship: ESOL

Field Experience and Student Teaching

Some courses may include observation and participation activities in schools. Upon completion of prescribed courses, supervised student teaching in the appropriate area(s) of certification for a total period of 20 weeks will satisfy the student teaching requirement. See description of internships EDU-601 through EDU-611 and SPE-601 under School of Education Course Descriptions.

For teachers already teaching full time in the appropriate content area, upon approval from NDMU and school staff, may complete internship requirements including observations in the classroom where they are already a full-time teacher.

All interns must also register for EDU-600 edTPA for Educators during their internship semester. They should register for the section that has the number of credits that correlates with the number of initial certifications they will earn. For example, students earning an initial certification in Elementary Education must take the one credit EDU 600 course. Students earning a dual certification in Early Childhood and Elementary Education must take the two credit EDU-600 course.

Effective Fall 2019, all initial certification teacher candidates (including teachers of record) at Notre Dame of Maryland University are required to complete the edTPA in their content area; i.e., their planned area of certification. Thus a teacher candidates who is interning as an elementary teacher and planning to be certified as an elementary teacher would take the edTPA in Elementary Education. Teacher candidates who are pursuing more than one area of certification are generally expected to complete this assessment in their ‘primary’ content area. 

The Maryland State Department of Education will require (effective July 1, 2025) all candidates who are seeking to become certified to pass the edTPA (or the PPAT) as part of new licensure requirements. Notre Dame of Maryland University opted to require the edTPA, an assessment that is more tailored to each content area than the more generic PPAT, as of Fall 2019. 

Effective Fall 2020 NDMU will require all initial certification teacher candidates to achieve a minimum score based on the number of rubrics associated with each edTPA, i.e., 37 (for 15 rubric portfolios), 42 (for 18 rubric portfolios, or 34 (for 13 rubric portfolios), respectively. A minimum passing score is required for graduation from NDMU’s School of Education. Additionally, all candidates will be required to fully and successfully participate in the online/face to face support process that is provided to teacher candidates during their internship experience. Moreover, they must have a completely scored portfolio in order to receive a passing grade for their Internship (also a graduation requirement). This edTPA requirement is an intensive one-credit (1 cr) requirement.

ACT Program Requirements

For admission to teacher certification programs, we look for candidates with a strong academic background and 3.0 or higher undergraduate GPA. Our admissions process doees take into account the whole candidate so a percentage of students with lower GPAs can be admitted to the program who show promise based on test scores, recommendations, and/or work experience.

      • While enrolled in the program, an overall average of 3.0 or higher must be maintained;
      • A "B" or higher in all methods courses, passing scores on Praxis Core tests (or MSDE-approved test or qualifying GPA of 3.0) are required for admission to student teaching.
      • An Application for Student Teaching Placement must be filed early in the semester prior to the semester for internship. No other courses should be taken during the internship experience;
      • All and education courses prescribed in a student's Program of Study must be completed prior to the internship. Any liberal arts courses needed to fulfill certification requirements must be completed with a C grade or better prior to receiving the approved program stamp on the transcript signifying completion of the Program;
      • Students must pass Praxis Core tests (or MSDE-approved test equivalent) prior to the internship semester and Praxis II* exams required for the intended area(s) of certification prior to certification stamping. These are national teacher examinations required by the Maryland State Board of Education for Certification. Students will also be required to complete and submit an edTPA portfolio documenting work completed during the internship semester.

*Because NDMU’s World Languages Program is nationally recognized by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL),teacher candidates who are seeking certification in Maryland for World Languages are required to achieve a passing score of “Advanced Low” or better on BOTH the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and the Written Proficiency Test (WPT), both of which are administered by an interviewer/proctor who is certified by ACTFL. Note that some teacher candidates in lieu of the OPI may elect to take the OPI(c) which is a computer version of the OPI. More information about these assessments can be found at www.languagetesting.com

Courses

EDU-600 edTPA for Educators

This course is designed for education students going through their internship. It prepares them for the submission of the required national teaching portfolio. Students are mentored through the process by School of Education faculty mentors. [ variable credit 1-2 ]