The Garrett County Board of Education is required by Maryland State Law to employ individuals who hold valid Maryland certificates or who are eligible for a Maryland certificate in the area in which they will teach. A Maryland teaching certificate is a license to teach in a public school in the State of Maryland. All Garrett County Board of Education employees are required to complete a criminal background check, drug testing, and tuberculin risk assessment prior to their employment.
Present certificate holders will renew their certificates under the regulations established on January 1, 2003, by the State of Maryland. Each professional is responsible for knowing the requirements to hold and renew certificates. The State of Maryland issues and recognizes the following certificates.
Professional Eligibility Certificate (PEC)
This certificate is issued for five (5) years and renewable for additional five-year periods to an individual who met all requirements for a professional certificate but is not currently employed as a professional in a Maryland school system (renewable with six (6) credits).
Conditional Degree Certificate (Formerly Provisional)
This certificate is issued for two (2) years to an individual who holds a bachelor's degree but who does not meet the requirements for a professional certificate. The certificate may be renewed only once after the holder has met Praxis I qualifying scores and completed at least twelve (12) semester hours of required coursework.
There is a lifetime cap and limit on the number of conditional certificates an individual may receive.
Standard Professional Certificate-1 (SPC1)
This certificate is issued for five (5) years at the request of the local school system to an individual employed under a regular contract. This certificate is renewable only one time at the request of the local superintendent of schools for an individual who, due to a break in service, did not meet the experience requirement to move to the SPCII. However, these applicants must present six (6) semester hours of acceptable credit to receive the renewed SPC1.
Standard Professional Certificate-2 (SPC11)
This certificate is issued for five (5) years to an individual who is employed in a Maryland local school system and has completed the SPC1 certificate and has presented verification of three years of full-time satisfactory professional school-related experience and six (6) semester hours of acceptable credit.
Upon assurance of the SPCII, a Professional Development Plan-1 (PDP-1) must be completed.
Extended Standard Professional Certificate-2 (ESPC11)
This certificate is issued to an individual who received the SPCII certificate but had an interrupted service on the certificate causing the individual to fail to meet the APC experience requirements. Note, however, that the coursework requirements for the Advanced Professional Certificate APC) must have been met at the time of the request.
Advanced Professional Certificate (APC)
This certificate is issued for five years upon verification of an approved Master's degree or verification of the completion of 36 semester hours of post-baccalaureate approved credit.
The 36 semester hours must consist of a minimum of 21 approved graduate credits. The remaining 15 semester hours may consist of approved MSDE continuing professional development credits and/or approved post-baccalaureate undergraduate credits. Regardless of the route, at least 6 of the credits must be acceptable credits taken within the last 5 years. A Professional Development Plan-2 (PDP-2) must be submitted for each APC renewal. In addition, the individual must present verification of 3 years of full-time satisfactory, school-related experience, and a PDP-2 for the subsequent APC.
Professional Development Plan 1 and 2 forms and suggested activities and renewal credits are located on the attachment section of this page.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a Renewal Unit/Credit? Can anyone use these units/credits to renew a certificate?
A renewal credit allows APC certificate holders to renew their certificates. Renewal units are specific to Garrett County Public Schools and can only be used to renew an Advanced Professional Certificate.
How do I renew my Advanced Professional Certificate?
To renew an APC, you must successfully complete six credits or renewal units. Credits / Units can be earned through college coursework or MSDE workshops. Renewal credits can be earned by completing graduate courses and/or approved activities determined by the school principal/supervisor in lieu of college courses.
All courses or activities for renewal credits must be discussed and approved by your immediate supervisor (principal) prior to enrollment and should support the goals of your Professional Development Plan. Activities should have a direct impact/relationship to your job responsibilities (e.g. delivery of instruction). All reading courses required for certification must be satisfied before renewal credits/units can be submitted for certificate renewal.
The Office of Human Resources will be responsible for sending the Professional Development Plans to the employees to complete with assistance from their principal/supervisor. The form must have a signature and date from the employee and principal/supervisor. A copy should be made and placed in the employee's file at the school before forwarding it to the Office of Human Resources for signatures and placement in the employee's personnel file.
What happens if I don’t get the appropriate documentation to the Human Resources Office and my certificate expires?
Every teacher must hold a valid certificate to teach in any Maryland Public School. Without a certificate, you lose your status as a teacher and are no longer employed by the Garrett County School System as a contractual teacher. If you do not meet the requirements to renew a Professional Certificate, you can move to a Conditional Certificate for two years to complete your missing coursework. If you do not complete the requirements in the two-year validity period, you cannot get another certificate. The Department of Human Resources must have your coursework 12 weeks before your certificate expires.
Is there a fee to renew my certificate? How do I pay for it?
Each certificate renewal requires a $10 fee. The $10 fee will be automatically deducted from a paycheck. For additional information about teacher certification, please visit the MSDE website.