Accelerated Certification in Teaching

Graduate School 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.

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, 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-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 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-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-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-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-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.

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 equivalent) 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 requirments 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-509 Processes and Acquisition of Reading

Sets forth an interdisciplinary view of the foundations of reading and writing and the development and acquisition of literacy. The class addresses theories in such fields as linguistics, cognitive psychology and child development as they are seen in language and literacy development of the emerging elementary reader/writer. The course examines the history of various instructional methodologies and the research documenting their effectiveness. The class reviews current approaches to all parts of the acquisition of literacy, such as direct instruction of phonics, whole language, language experience, literature-based curricula and the writing process. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-510 Elementary Reading Materials

Exposes teachers to a variety of quality texts and other media, fiction and non-fiction for use in the elementary classroom, across the curriculum. Criteria for selecting and evaluating materials and strategies for use in all areas of instruction, with attention to student and text diversity issues will be explored. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-511 Assessment of Reading

Provides students with a background in assessment and its relationship to instruction. Students will learn about the variety of assessments available to the classroom teacher in the areas of reading and writing. Students will learn how to administer, score and interpret the results of various assessments. Instructional decisions regarding the educational program of the child will also be examined. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-513 Science and Social Studies in the Elementary School

Emphasizes integration of content and process through demonstration, investigative and inquiry approaches. Addresses the three domains of knowledge, skills and attitudes. Attention is given to recent trends, national and state standards, and the use of indicators in planning instruction and assessing. Includes preparation of instructional units and microteaching experience. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-519 Human Development and Learning

Explores selected aspects of human development related to learning and instruction. Major psychological concepts and learning theories will be examined and applied to the context of education. Emphasis will be placed on understanding cognitive and affective domains of development as well as behavior management, motivation, individual differences in learning and instructional practices. Includes reflection, classroom activities, educational philosophy and class-room instruction. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-531 Methods of Teaching English in Secondary School

Examines objectives, nature and place of the academic disciplines in the secondary school. Readings include courses of study, current research in methodology and texts and material for teaching. Each course focuses on model and techniques for teaching each subject to diverse students at the secondary level. Includes long and short range planning, inclusion strategies interrelated with curriculum and resources in application of teaching, learning theory in such areas as direct instruction, cooperative learning, inquiry and discovery, motivation, questioning, discussion, classroom management and assessment of outcomes. Presentation and evaluation of demonstration lessons. Videotaping for analysis of teaching. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-532 World Languages

Examines objectives, nature and place of the academic disciplines in the secondary school. Readings include courses of study, current research in methodology and texts and material for teaching. Each course focuses on model and techniques for teaching each subject to diverse students at the secondary level. Includes long and short range planning, inclusion strategies interrelated with curriculum and resources in application of teaching, learning theory in such areas as direct instruction, cooperative learning, inquiry and discovery, motivation, questioning, discussion, classroom management and assessment of outcomes. Presentation and evaluation of demonstration lessons. Videotaping for analysis of teaching. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-533 Methods of Teaching Mathematics in Secondary School

Examines objectives, nature and place of the academic disciplines in the secondary school. Readings include courses of study, current research in methodology and texts and material for teaching. Each course focuses on model and techniques for teaching each subject to diverse students at the secondary level. Includes long and short range planning, inclusion strategies interrelated with curriculum and resources in application of teaching, learning theory in such areas as direct instruction, cooperative learning, inquiry and discovery, motivation, questioning, discussion, classroom management and assessment of outcomes. Presentation and evaluation of demonstration lessons. Videotaping for analysis of teaching. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-537 Methods of Teaching Science in Secondary School

Examines objectives, nature and place of the academic disciplines in the secondary school. Readings include courses of study, current research in methodology and texts and material for teaching. Each course focuses on model and techniques for teaching each subject to diverse students at the secondary level. Includes long and short range planning, inclusion strategies interrelated with curriculum and resources in application of teaching, learning theory in such areas as direct instruction, cooperative learning, inquiry and discovery, motivation, questioning, discussion, classroom management and assessment of outcomes. Presentation and evaluation of demonstration lessons. Videotaping for analysis of teaching. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-539 Methods of Teaching Social Studies In Secondary School

Examines objectives, nature and place of the academic disciplines in the secondary school. Readings include courses of study, current research in methodology and texts and material for teaching. Each course focuses on model and techniques for teaching each subject to diverse students at the secondary level. Includes long and short range planning, inclusion strategies interrelated with curriculum and resources in application of teaching, learning theory in such areas as direct instruction, cooperative learning, inquiry and discovery, motivation, questioning, discussion, classroom management and assessment of outcomes. Presentation and evaluation of demonstration lessons. Videotaping for analysis of teaching. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-542 Instruction in Reading

Reviews current research findings related to integrated language arts instruction and their impact on classroom practices in schools. Numerous strategies and methods to develop and enhance the elementary student's reading, writing, listening and speaking skills are explored. A variety of management techniques will be discussed. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-544 Educational Assessment

Focuses on student assessment and the relationship of assessment practices to instructional decisionmaking. Students will consider, analyze and apply a variety of approaches for interpreting individual and group behavior based on relevant research and best practices. Traditional assessment techniques, using standardized and criterion instruments, will be explored, as well as direct performance and portfolio assessments. Both classroom and clinical practice assessment strategies will be explored. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-546 Methods and Materials for TESOL

Aims to familiarize students with methods and materials available to the ESL teacher. Students analyze a wide variety of methods, with emphasis on currently accepted methodology. Different kinds of materials are examined in detail, including authentic materials. Students will also explore technological resources available to the ESL teacher. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-547 Assessing Second Language Acquisition

Introduces the student to various assessment techniques that are used in ESL teaching. Students examine various traditional testing techniques, along with more recently developed alternative methods for assessing second language learning, focusing on the four language skills, reading, writing, listening and speaking, as well as communicative competence in general. In addition, students evaluate relevant high-stakes testing for ESL students. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-548 Language Learning

Examines current theory in language acquisition from psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic perspectives. Theoretical principles as they relate to second language acquisition are analyzed, including their application to second or foreign language teaching. Subtopics include sociocultural factors, including issues of identity and power, individual language learning styles and strategies, and the impact of age and native language on (second/foreign) language learning. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-551 Teaching Reading and Writing in the Content Areas Part II

Provides an advanced study of how to teach reading and writing to all students using motivating and accessible texts. Participants analyze literacy (the reading and writing process) to understand how levels of literacy are not absolute. Literacy is relative and depends on the diverse culture, language, background experiences, and skills of the reader and the kind of text presented. Participants learn how to informally assess their students' levels of literacy and analyze texts for level of readability. Various reading and writing approaches and strategies in the content areas are modeled and demonstrated in class by the instructors and the participants. Participants learn how reading and writing are social acts of communication as they work together in this class discussing their own reading and writing. Participants compile a variety of texts (including materials for computer use) in the content areas in order to meet the needs of all of their students. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-556 Technology for Instruction and Management

Introduces learners to technology as a tool for classroom instruction and management. Students will be given opportunities in planning, designing and producing projects that meet the instructional needs of students. The projects encompass skills in word processing, video, Web pages, multimedia and other technologies. Students examine online information services and the integration of technology into the curriculum and practice. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-580 Teaching Reading and Writing in the Content Areas Part I

Presents the conceptual framework and methodology for teaching reading and writing at the secondary level. Emphasizes the holistic and developmental nature of reading/writing/learning processes. Explores literacy as a cultural, sociological phenomenon. Includes techniques for skill assessment and development in the oral and language areas of speaking and listening and in the written language areas of reading and writing. Emphasis is on language skill refinement across the curriculum as well as strategies for students with varying learning styles and needs. Explores the interactive nature of reading, the reading/ writing connection and ways to integrate literature within the various disciplines across the curriculum. Discusses the teacher role in developing independent learning strategies and literacy for life. Includes preparation of lesson plans, activities and materials as well as strategies for organizing and managing literacy instruction in the content areas. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-586 Techniques of Teaching Reading and Writing to Students With Limited English Proficiency

Familiarizes students with the approaches, methods and techniques appropriate for the teaching literacy skills to English Language Learners (ELLs). Special topics such as language-specific rhetorical styles and integration of reading and writing in the content areas will also be discussed. Students evaluate and design appropriate classroom materials. [3 credits]

EDU-592 Mathematics in the Elementary School

Integrates mathematical concepts with the methods employed to teach mathematics in the elementary school. Emphasis is on National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) standards and implementation of standards instruction. Focuses on a hands-on approach using manipulatives. Includes preparation of lesson plans and microteaching experiences. [ 3 credits ]

EDU-601 Internship: Student Teaching in Secondary School

Provides an internship in the appropriate subject and grade level in public schools for a period of 20 weeks, variably arranged according to program (MAT-or ACT.) Gradual immersion into teaching. Builds upon and extends activities of the clinical field experiences in observing and analyzing student behaviors; learning about the school; establishing professional relationships with students, parents, staff; observing and analyzing teaching. Interns begin by planning and teaching specific skills (for example, the inquiry method) with one or more classes, analyze progress with the guidance of the supervising teacher, and gradually assume responsibility for the entire teaching schedule. Interns are expected to demonstrate skill in: long range and daily planning, uses of technology, use of teaching strategies identified in the Maryland Instructional Frameworks (critical thinking, problem solving, inductive thinking, questioning, reading and writing for meaning, constructing meaning). Supervision by master teacher and college supervisor. Student teaching portfolio. Extra fee required. [ 6 credits ] Note: Students preparing for dual certification enroll in designated alternative sections of appropriate internships for 3 credits each. Consult program advisor before registering. NOTE: Student Teaching Internships may start earlier than the official term start dates. Please refer to the information received at the internship orientation or contact the Education Department.

EDU-611 Internship TESOL

Provides a full-time internship in TESOL education in public schools. Gradual introduction into teaching. Builds upon and extends activities of the clinical field experiences in observing and analyzing student behaviors; learning about the school; establishing professional relationships with students, parents, staff; observing and analyzing teaching. Interns begin by planning and teaching specific skills (for example, the inquiry method) with one or more classes, analyze progress with the guidance of the supervising teacher, and gradually assume responsibility for the entire teaching schedule. Interns are expected to demonstrate skill in: long range and daily planning, uses of technology, use of teaching strategies identified in the Maryland Instructional Frameworks (critical thinking, problem solving, inductive thinking, questioning, reading and writing for meaning, constructing meaning), and in instructing and assessing English language development for students of other languages with limited English proficiency. Supervision by master teacher and college supervisor. [ 6 credits ] NOTE: Student Teaching Internships may start earlier than the official term start dates. Please refer to the information received at the internship orientation or contact the Education Department.

SPE-526 Special Education for the Classroom Teacher

Addresses the rights of special needs students, legal foundations, the attitudes and needs of parents and the responsibilities of educators. Explores characteristics of exceptionalities. Designed for the classroom teacher, this course stresses strategies for inclusion and adaptations for the regular classroom. Includes discussions with professionals. [ 3 credits ]

SPE-543 Assessment of Special Needs Populations (Secondary)

Introduces the diagnostic processes used in special education for students from birth to adulthood. Includes informal and formal assessment methods as well as analysis, interpretation and presentation of test results. Course content covers federally mandated assessment regulations. The course includes prescriptive techniques and instructional planning for special needs students at the secondary level. [ 3 credits ]

SPE-544 Assessment of Special Needs Populations (Elementary)

Introduces the diagnostic processes used in special education. Includes student conducted informal and formal assessments as well as analysis, interpretation and presentation of test results. Covers prescriptive techniques and instructional planning. Note: Students with prior experience in special needs testing should enroll in SPE-545. [ 3 credits ]

SPE-546 Methods of Teaching Students with Special Needs

Provides the student with methods to facilitate the teaching of students with significant learning and behavioral differences. The course content addresses cognitive processing, classroom management and behavioral support strategies. Models of instructional delivery, adaptation of instructional materials, strategy instruction and means of assessing students' progress are explored. Current trends, issues, and legislation updates are included as well. [ 3 credits ]

SPE-570  Individualizing the Curriculum: Strategies for Holistic Intervention

Explores a broad spectrum of classroom and behavior management strategies as well as generic and subject specific study, organizational and self-regulatory skills. Course will focus on research support as well as systematic, effective implementation. (Expansion of the strategies component of SPE-527 Teaching Special Needs Students in Inclusive Settings, a course offered in the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program). This course will provide participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to design learning environments that facilitate understanding, foster responsibility for learning, encourage peer interaction, create opportunities for collaborative learning and support inclusion for elementary with disabilities. Instructional approaches, researched based practices and program models for diverse learners will be presented. Participants will develop individual education plans with goals and accommodations that align to state standards, promote student access to general education curriculum and meet legal requirements.[ 3 credits ]

SPE-571  Vocational Skills in Special Education Methods

Develops the knowledge and skills to assist individuals with disabilities in transitioning from school to postsecondary life. Transition planning will be defined and related disability legislation explored. The family's role in transition will be discussed as well as empowering student selfdetermination and involvement. Person-centered practices to individualize the transition process will be explored. Community transition planning will be emphasized, including interagency agreement. Teaching for transition, finding vocational placements for students, pursuing postsecondary educational opportunities and independent living supports will be examined. Students will learn to design and implement individual transition plans for youth with mild to significant disabilities. [ 3 credits ]

SPE-576 Communication Skills for the School-Based Professional

Focuses on effective leadership and communication skills for school-based personnel, with a particular focus on Special Education teacher-leaders. We will explore leadership, communication, group dynamics, and address issues related to effective, collaborative team coordination in various programs providing services to school age children. "Teaming" for academic and social/emotional concerns, effective preventive interventions, resolving conflict, utilization of school and community resources, and effective communication with parents or primary caretakers, and support or monitoring agencies will be included. [3 credits]

SPE-601 Internship: Student Teaching in Special Education

Provides an internship in the appropriate subject and grade level in public schools for a period of 20 weeks, variably arranged according to program (MAT-or ACT.) Gradual immersion into teaching. Builds upon and extends activities of the clinical field experiences in observing and analyzing student behaviors; learning about the school; establishing professional relationships with students, parents, staff; observing and analyzing teaching. Interns begin by planning and teaching specific skills (for example, the inquiry method) with one or more classes, analyze progress with the guidance of the supervising teacher, and gradually assume responsibility for the entire teaching schedule. Interns are expected to demonstrate skill in: long range and daily planning, uses of technology, use of teaching strategies identified in the Maryland Instructional Frameworks (critical thinking, problem solving, inductive thinking, questioning, reading and writing for meaning, constructing meaning). Supervision by master teacher and college supervisor. Student teaching portfolio. Extra fee required. [ 6 credits ] Prerequisite: Permission of department chair. Note: Students preparing for dual certification enroll in designated alternative sections of appropriate internships for 3 credits each. Consult program advisor before registering. NOTE: Student Teaching Internships may start earlier than the official term start dates. Please refer to the information received at the internship orientation or contact the Education Department.