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Alternative Teacher Certification in Maryland

Instructor: Fola Rae
Maryland offers an alternative pathway to those who want to become teachers through the Maryland Approved Alternative Preparation Programs (MAAPP). Read on to learn about what tests you will have to take and get information about residency requirements in a local school.

Maryland Approved Alternative Preparation Programs (MAAPP)

If you want to become a teacher but your bachelor's degree is not in education, you can work toward meeting the requirements for MAAPP. The MAAPP programs function through partnerships between local school systems and the following:

• 2-year colleges

• 4-year colleges

• Teach for America

• The New Teacher Project

A list of approved alternative licensing programs for each school district can be found on the Maryland State Department of Education website (www.marylandpublicschools.org).

MAAPP teacher certification standards meet the same standards used for traditional teacher certification programs. Each MAAPP program participant must pass teaching tests for a particular content area, become accustomed to the classroom setting, and develop working relationships with the staff in a school where they are placed. Teachers from the alternative training programs are placed in schools where there are teacher shortages, or to meet the need for teachers specialized in critical content areas, such as math or science. The steps towards alternative certification are outlined below.

MAAPP Eligibility Requirements

The alternative training programs include applicants from various backgrounds, and participants can start teaching right after they are admitted. The requirements for entrance to MAAPP include:

• Strong interview performance

• Passing the Praxis II test or an American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) content test

• Earning an accepted score on the GRE, SAT, ACT, Praxis I or Basic Skills test

• Transcripts with coursework in the desired certification content area

• 2.75 GPA in teaching content area

Preparation for Employment

MAAPP participants receive preliminary employment training in management and classroom instruction, which includes learning how to plan lessons, and learning how to assess students. Participants are then placed in internships which can last between four to eight weeks. A master teacher supervises interns and the length of the internship is determined by each participant's ability to perform job duties and their previous life experience.

Residency Requirement

After an internship, MAAPP participants are placed in a residency. A residency lasts for one to two years, and the MAAPP participant works as a teacher and earns a salary. During this time, the participants can be assessed using evaluations created by the local school system. If the school system is not satisfied with a participant's performance, it does not have to allow them to continue in the program. Extra training and support are provided to MAAPP participants who experience difficulty during the program, provided by the Maryland State Department of Education. Successful completion of the MAAPP results in participants being eligible for a Standard Professional Certificate that they can use to work in the state. The majority of Maryland's MAAPP teachers perform at the same level as other first-year teachers across the state.

Testing Requirements

For certification in all areas, you will have to pass a PRAXIS test in core academic skills for educators covering mathematics, reading and writing, or have qualifying scores from the SAT, ACT or GRE. In addition, you will need to pass a PRAXIS test specific to the content-area in which you be certified. Many eligible teachers will also need to pass a pedagogy-based tests on teaching principles. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) website (www.ets.org) provides information on test requirements for all licensure areas and for specific licensure areas such as elementary education, middle school education and world languages, among others.

Study.com offers a number of resources for PRAXIS preparation that you can access and work through when it is convenient for you. Video lessons give you an engaging learning experience and each course includes quizzes and exams that you can use to assess your understanding of the material. Here are some examples:

Praxis Math Core Academic Test: Practice & Study Guide

Praxis Reading Core Academic Test: Practice & Study Guide

Praxis Writing Core Academic Test: Practice & Study Guide

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