Popular Resources

School of Education

Accelerated Certification in Teaching

Program Overview

The non-degree, graduate-level ACT program prepares women and men with non-teaching degrees for success in the classroom. Professionals who are already teaching but wish to become certified, or those ready to change careers and become certified teachers, are ideal candidates for this program. Credits earned in the ACT program can be transferred to Notre Dame's Master of Arts in Leadership in Teaching program.

This program has been approved by the Maryland State Department of Education and meets initial certification requirements for: elementary education, secondary education, special education for elementary or secondary, and early childhood education. Our education programs are also nationally accredited by NCATE.

Concentrations

  • Art or Music (PreK-12) 
  • Early Childhood Education as dual certification with Elementary Education (PreK-6)
  • Special Education (alone or as dual certification with either Elementary or Secondary Education)
  • Elementary Education (1-6)
  • Secondary Subjects: Business, Computer Science, English, World Languages, Math, Science, Social Studies, History or Theater (7-12)

Program Requirements

  • Candidates work closely with an advisor to develop a personalized program plan.  
  • New students are accepted for each enrollment term: fall, winter, spring and summer. 
  • Coursework is offered during evenings and weekends, at times convenient for working adults.

Internship Requirements

  • The program also includes a full-time internship taken at the end of the program during either the fall or spring semesters.
  • During the internship semester, candidates receive support from a mentor teacher and an internship supervisor.
  • If a candidate already has a full-time teaching position, the candidate may complete an internship as the teacher of record.

To satisfy state certification requirements, candidates must successfully complete the coursework, internship, ePortfolio and Praxis II exams in the area of certification.

The Notre Dame Difference

  • Notre Dame has been preparing teachers for over 120 years.  Notre Dame is the top provider of initial teacher certification among all private colleges in Maryland.
  • Small class sizes, face to face instruction and personalized advising all mean that students receive an education that meets their needs.
  • Candidates develop the teaching tools to succeed in the classroom, as evidenced by the fact that 17 Notre Dame alums have been named Teachers of the Year in their school systems.

 Teacher working with students on laptops

Admissions Requirements

Admissions requirements for graduate level teacher certification programs include:

1. Graduate Studies application form     Available online at www.ndm.edu/admissions/apply/

2. Official transcript(s) sent directly to Graduate Admissions Office

If applicable, please provide all official transcripts from undergraduate, graduate and/or community college course work.  Official e-transcripts are accepted if sent directly from the school attended to the Graduate Admissions Office at gradadm@ndm.edu.  Students with degrees from universities outside of the United States should submit an official course by course evaluated transcript. See World Education Services (WES) at www.wes.org.

3. Admissions essay       (Essay is waived for students who have completed a previous master’s degree.)

Please address one of the following questions for your 300-500 word admissions essay:

1. Pursuing a graduate program is a challenge that requires perseverance, good judgment and flexibility. Please provide an example of how you have exercised these three traits in your life.

2. Today's workforce requires employees to work collaboratively. Please provide us with an example of how you have worked with a team towards a goal. What were the challenges involved? What were the accomplishments? Finally, what did you learn from the work?

4. Three Letters of Recommendation     Letters of recommendation are required for all ACT, MAT and MATESOL applicants who are not currently working in schools.  If an applicant is currently a full-time employee of a public school system or a private school, the recommendation letters are waived.  Recommendation form is available online at www.ndm.edu/admissions/graduate-studies/apply-for-admission/

5. Praxis Scores – or Alternate Acceptable Test Scores (Only applicants seeking initial teacher certification.)

The State of Maryland requires passing Praxis Core and Praxis II scores for all candidates seeking initial teaching certification.  If an applicant for a graduate teaching certification program has a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher from previous undergraduate and graduate work, the applicant may be accepted to the program at NDMU under the condition that he/she provides passing Praxis Core scores before beginning the student teaching internship.  If an applicant for a graduate teaching certification program has a cumulative GPA below 3.0, passing Praxis Core scores will be required before the applicant may be accepted to the program at NDMU.

The following tests satisfy the State of Maryland requirements for the Praxis Core:

5712       Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading                 Passing score of 156

5722       Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing                  Passing score of 162

5732       Core Academics Skills for Educators: Mathematics       Passing score of 150

Candidates must achieve the qualifying score on all three of the assessments; there is no composite score.

The State of Maryland will also accept the following options from candidates:

  • Praxis I: PPST scores taken before September 2014: composite score of 527 of higher
  • SAT test taken after April 1995: combined math and verbal (critical reading) score of 1100
  • SAT test taken prior to April 1995: math and verbal (critical reading) score of 1000
  • ACT composite score of 24 (ACT composite score is the average of the tests)
  • GRE revised General Test: composite of the combined verbal and quantitative score of 297. Candidates who took the GRE test prior to September 2011 will use the old composite score of 1000.

Mail application materials to:

Notre Dame of Maryland University

Graduate Admissions Office

4701 North Charles St.

Baltimore, Maryland 21210

Email application materials to: gradadm@ndm.edu

Courses

Required for certification in Secondary Education

EDU-519 Human Development and Learning
EDU-556 Technology for Instruction and Management
SPE-526 Special Education for the Classroom Teacher
EDU-544 Educational Assessment
EDU-580 Reading and Writing in the Content Areas Part I
EDU-551 Reading and Writing in the Content Areas Part II

Select one Methods of Teaching in Secondary School course from the following:
EDU-530 Art
EDU-531 English
EDU-532 Foreign Language
EDU-533 Mathematics
EDU-537 Science
EDU-539 Social Studies
Methods course for Business, Music and Computer Science candidates chosen in collaboration with academic advisor

EDU 601 Internship: Teaching in Secondary School 

Required for certification in Elementary Education

EDU-519 Human Development and Learning
EDU-556 Technology for Instruction and Management
SPE-526 Special Education for the Classroom Teacher
EDU-509 Processes and Acquisition of Reading
EDU-510 Elementary Reading Materials
EDU-511 Assessment of Reading
EDU-542 Instruction in Reading
EDU-513 Science and Social Studies in the Elementary School
EDU-592 Mathematics in the Elementary School

EDU 602 Internship: Teaching in the Elementary School

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
EDU-556 Technology for Instruction and Management
SPE-526 Special Education 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-580 Reading and Writing in the Content Areas Part I
EDU-551 Reading and Writing in the Content Areas Part II
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)

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 509 Processes and Acquisition of Reading
EDU 510 Elementary Reading Materials
EDU 511 Assessment for Reading Instruction
EDU 542 Instruction in Reading
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)

 

Alumni and Career Opportunities 

We are proud of our graduates and the lives they change every day in the classroom. 

Notre Dame offers more programs in teacher shortage areas than any other institution in Maryland. By providing programs in these much-needed areas, we help our local schools systems find new teachers and our graduates find teaching jobs.  Each year, the U.S. Department of Education prepares a list of shortage areas. For the 2014-2015 school year, the declared teacher shortage areas in Maryland are:

  • Career and Technology Areas (Grades 7 - 12) including Family and Consumer Sciences and Health Occupations (not offered at NDMU)
  • Computer Science (Grades 7 - 12)
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (Pre-K– Grade 12)
  • Mathematics (Grades 7-12)
  • Science Areas (Grades 7-12) including Chemistry, Earth/Space Science, Physical Science and Physics
  • Special Education Areas at all grade levels
  • World Language Areas (Pre-K- Grade 12) including Chinese and Spanish

Notre Dame is here to support you on your job search. 

  • Our Career Center is available to graduate students with services including career counseling, resume writing assistance, interview coaching, and job listings.
  • During the internship semester, all ACT students attend a seminar with the opportunity to speak to Human Resources representatives from the local area school systems.  
  • Interns learn about what school systems look for in new hires, applications and interview processes, and the content areas most in need in each school system.
  • Many local schools systems conduct on-campus interviews right here at Notre Dame.

 Teacher gives student a high-five

Frequently Asked Questions

1)      What is the tuition and how much does the program cost?

Tuition costs for education master’s level programs are $540 per credit for the 2016-2017 school year. There is a $150 registration fee each fall and spring semester of registration.  The total program cost will vary because each student creates a personalized program with the credits required for certification.  Total credits will vary based on certification(s) sought and a student’s previous coursework.

2)     Is financial aid available?

Financial aid for graduate students is largely in the form of low interest student loans.  To receive student loans, a graduate student would need to take at least 6 credits per semester and complete the FAFSA form. For more information, please read Financial Aid for Graduate Students

3)     What prerequisites are required before starting the program?

Candidates may need to complete content courses before starting the ACT program.  A secondary candidate is required to have at least 30 credits in the subject area desired for certification, with 12 of the credits taken at the 300/400 level.  An elementary candidate must have the following: 12 credits EACH of English, Mathematics, Science (including Biology), and Social Sciences, and 6 credits of Fine Arts.  Our advisors are happy to provide a transcript analysis prior to applying.  For a transcript review, contact Megan Bowen at mbowen@ndm.edu for our main campus in Baltimore and Dr. Karen Wooten at kwooten@ndm.edu for Southern Maryland. 

4)     Can I transfer in previous education coursework?

Students with previous education courses may be able to have course requirements waived.  Prior coursework must be reviewed by an advisor to ensure that it meets state and NDMU requirements.  If the coursework was taken at the undergraduate level, that coursework cannot transfer into the graduate program, but can be used toward certification requirement fulfillment.  If the coursework was taken at the graduate level, up to 6 credits may transfer into the graduate program at Notre Dame upon approval from the advisor.

5)     How long does the program take?

The program length will vary based on a student’s personalized program plan and certifications sought.    Students may take a maximum of 10 courses per year (3 fall, 1 winter, 3 spring, 3 summer), and many students complete their coursework within one year.  The coursework is followed by a one semester internship taken in either the fall or spring semesters.  Students are required to take at least two classes per semester if they plan to access student loans.  Since many of our students work full time, personalized program plans allow them to fit coursework into their schedules.

6)     Do I need to take the Praxis exam?

The State of Maryland requires passing Praxis Core and Praxis II scores for all candidates seeking initial teaching certification. 

If an applicant for a graduate teaching certification program has a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher from previous undergraduate and graduate work, the applicant may be accepted to the program at NDMU under the condition that he/she provides passing Praxis Core scores before beginning the student teaching internship.  If an applicant for a graduate teaching certification program has a cumulative GPA below 3.0, passing Praxis Core scores will be required before the applicant may be accepted to the program at NDMU.  The State of Maryland accepts scores from the Praxis I, SAT, ACT and GRE tests in place of the Praxis Core if the scores are high enough (see admissions criteria section of this page).

Praxis II exams are based on a candidate's intended certification area and are taking during the program.  Praxis II exams must be completed before a candidate may be stamped for certification.

7)     When can I start the program?

We offer rolling admission to the ACT program.  Candidates may begin the program during any enrollment term: Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer.  We have the following recommended application deadlines:  July 5 for fall semester, November 5 for winter semester, December 5 for spring semester, April 5 for summer semester.  By meeting the recommended deadlines, students are ensured of the best selection of classes.  Applicants are accepted past the recommended deadline as long as space remains open in classes.

8)     What days and times are classes offered?

Classes during the fall and spring semesters are offered on Monday through Thursday evenings, with most courses beginning at 6pm and meeting one evening per week. Several classes for secondary certification are also offered on Saturday mornings and Saturday afternoons.  During the winterim semester, classes are offered for a full day on the four Saturdays in January, and students may take one course.  Courses during the summer semester will have different schedules based on the course, with some offered in an accelerated format.

9)      Where are classes offered?

We offer the ACT program at our main campus in Baltimore and at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center.  Courses may also be offered in other locations around the state. For additional information about the Southern Maryland location, please contact Dr. Karen Wooten at 301-737-2500 ext 305 or kwooten@ndm.edu.  For information about cohorts starting in Howard County and on the Eastern Shore, please contact Megan Bowen at 410-532-5350 or mbowen@ndm.edu.

10)    Do you have information sessions for this program?

Information sessions are held periodically at our main campus in Baltimore. Info sessions are a great way to get "a feel" for the personalized approach at NDMU and to get specific information about the program and application process.  Check-in starts at 5:30pm, and the presentation begins at 6pm.  Everyone who attends the information session will receive a waiver for their first registration fee.  Register at www.ndm.edu/essentialcredential.

11)   I have more questions! Who should I call?

For main campus admissions information:
Office of Graduate Admissions

410-532-5317
gradadm@ndm.edu

For main campus program questions:
Megan Bowen
Director of Admission and Advising for Graduate Initial Certification

410-532-5350
mbowen@ndm.edu

For Southern Maryland campus information:
Karen Wooten
Associate Dean of Education
301-737-2500 ext. 305
kwooten@ndm.edu