Highly Qualified (HQ) Status FAQs

What does it mean to be “highly qualified (HQ)?”

The HQ qualification means that you have shown proficiency in the Core Academic Subject that you are teaching by your success on Praxis content tests or by your college coursework or by the level of your teaching certificate.

Do all teachers have to be “highly qualified?"

According to the No Child Left Behind Act, all teachers who teach Core Academic Subjects must be HQ by the end of the 2005-2006 school year.

How do I know if I am “highly qualified?”

Refer to the “How to Achieve Highly Qualified Teacher Status in Maryland" (Adobe PDF File, opens in new window)
 chart.  Determine what requirements you meet and what others you may need to complete.  Notice if you hold an APC or NBC certificate with an endorsement in the field in which you are teaching - you are HQ.

What should I do if I am not already “highly qualified?”

There are several ways you may become “highly qualified”.

  • Obtain 30 credits of “C” or better course work in the area in which you are teaching to become “highly qualified by academic content.”
  • Take and pass the Praxis test(s) required for you to be certified in the area in which you are teaching.  (See http://www.ets.org/praxis (opens in new window)  for further information on the Praxis test requirements and test dates.)
  • If you started teaching before the first day of the 2002-2003 school year, achieve 100 points on the appropriate HOUSSE, which gives you credit for coursework, years of satisfactory experience, continuing professional development, activities, services, and awards.  (The four HOUSSE documents -- Elementary, Elementary Special Ed, Secondary, Secondary Special Ed -- and the Verification Statement are available at www.mdcert.org (opens in new window).  Choose the publication entitled, Using Maryland’s HOUSSE.

What should I do with my completed HOUSSE document and the documentation that goes with it?

Complete the appropriate HOUSSE with the signed Verification statement on the back and return it to Human Resources before April 1st.  Keep all documentation in a safe place, in case your HOUSSE is audited.  The documentation is vital, as the HOUSSE alone will not deem you “highly qualified.”