Maryland Teacher Certification Information
This information is intended for the certificated personnel of Frederick County Public Schools. If you are not a Frederick County teacher, please contact the Maryland State Department of Education, 200 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21202 or call 866-772-8922. You can also get information about Maryland certification at the MSDE website, www.mdcert.org. The certification officers of FCPS are not authorized to complete evaluations, credit counts, nor certification for individuals who are not employed as teachers with Frederick County Public Schools.
If you are a Frederick County teacher and you do not find the answer to your question from the questions below or the resources linked to the right, please email us. When contacting the Department of Human Resources, please use your legal and include your employee ID number. It is most efficient if you request official electronic transcripts be sent to email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
Every teacher, specialist, administrator, and supervisor must hold a valid MD certificate to be employed in a public school system in Maryland. Certificates are issued and renewed twice a year, January and July.
|Type of Certificate||Validity Period||Limit|
|Conditional Certificate||2 years||2|
|Standard Professional I Certificate||5 years||1|
|Standard Professional II Certificate||5 years||1|
|Advanced Professional Certificate||5 years||unlimited|
For more detailed information, see the Certification Chart.
To get a second Conditional Certificate, a teacher must complete a minimum of 12 credits listed on the conditional evaluation and must meet the Maryland qualifying score on Praxis I.
If the original conditional evaluation requires fewer than 12 credits, all requirements including the required Praxis I and Praxis II tests must be completed during the two-year validity period of the first certificate.
Complete a total of 6 credits, reading credits if you still need them, during the five-year validity period. Since you will have a total of ten years to complete your master’s degree or master’s equivalency, you will probably want to take more than just the 6 required credits. You also must have a minimum of three years of successful teaching experience during the validity period of your certificate.
By the end of the five-year validity period of your Standard Professional II certificate, you must complete either a master’s degree or master’s equivalency (36 credits, including a minimum of 21 graduate credits). You also must have a minimum of three years of successful teaching experience during the validity period of your certificate.
You must complete a total of 6 credits and/or equivalent units during the five-year validity period of each Advanced Professional Certificate. You also must have a minimum of three years of successful teaching experience during the validity period of each certificate.
All coursework must be taken at a regionally accredited college or university or through MSDE and must be age/grade appropriate and related to education in general or your certification area.
A Professional Development Plan is a plan developed by a certificate holder with his/her supervisor indicating professional development plans for the upcoming school year and is required by MSDE for certificate renewal. The PDP for most FCPS certificate holders is included in the current evaluation system and is kept on file at the school. Only administrators must complete the 5-year PDP on the appropriate form at the beginning of each certificate validity period.
You are responsible for keeping track of your current certificate and its validity period. You need to keep track of the coursework that you complete and be sure to send original transcripts/official grade reports to Human Resources for all coursework completed. You can access your record at FCPS Employee Self Service Portal.
MSDE credits are automatically sent to HR. For more information on MSDE credits, click here. College transcripts and grade reports must be requested by the teacher. It is most efficient if you have the transcripts sent to you in a sealed envelope and you deliver them to HR. That way, you know when the college has actually sent your transcript. The Certification Officer will make a request for your certificate to MSDE about two months before your certificate expires after all official documentation is received for your renewal credits. Once your certificate request has been made and approved by MSDE, you can go to www.mdcert.org to print your certificate. The certificate cannot be printed before its issue date.
Each certificate renewal requires a $10 fee, but the addition of a certification area costs nothing. Fees are deducted from the teacher’s paycheck a month or two before the certificate expires.
You may add a teaching certification area by completing 30 credits in a particular certification area or by passing the appropriate test(s) for a specific certification area with a Maryland qualifying score. Click here to access the complete list of Praxis tests and click here to access the list of accepted ACTFL tests and required scores.
Specialist certifications (Media, Guidance, Reading Specialists, etc.) and Administrator certification require a course by course evaluation or the conferral of a master's degree in the appropriate area. Evaluations are completed by the Certification Officer by request.
Please see the table of certification areas. If you would like an evaluation of your coursework for any of these certification areas, please E-mail with your specific request.
You print your certificate from the MSDE website whenever you wish. Certificates cannot be printed until the date they are issued. To do so, access www.mdcert.org and follow the onscreen directions. You need to set up an account the first time you access the site. After that, you simply need your username and the password you created on the site when you registered.
According to COMAR 13A.12.01.14B.(1)(2), a teacher who has 25 years of experience in public education or is 55 years of age may request the Senior Teacher Waiver for certificate renewal. That means that the teacher is exempted from taking the 6 credits to renew his/her Advanced Professional Certificate and is not held to the reading or special education required courses that have not yet been met.
Effective July 1, 2017, Professional Learning Experience Units (PLUs) are being phased out and replaced with "MSDE Credit for Specialized Learning Experiences".
- Request must be made prior to engaging in the PL experience to gain prior approval.
- The professional learning experience must occur outside of the regular workday.
- The experience must be a minimum of 15 hours (may be a combination of "seat time" and submitted evidence of implementation/learning).
- 15-29 hours = 1 credit
- 30-44 hours = 2 credits
- 45 + hours = 3 credits
- You may not request approval for the same experience more than one time.
Before beginning the experience, submit your Request for MSDE Credit for Specialized Learning Experiences.
Can’t find the answer to your question on this page, or have a follow up question? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org