UMBC's education department offers teacher candidates the opportunity to combine an academic major in their area of interest with eligibility for teaching certification from the Maryland State Department of Education in the subject or grade band of their choice. Candidates for teacher certification pursue a major appropriate to their teaching goals and also complete course work to certify as a teacher in early childhood education (through grade 3), elementary education (grades 1-6) or secondary education (grades 7-12) in English, math, social studies, Spanish, French, German, biology, chemistry, physics, earth/space science, and physical science. Social studies candidates can major in any one of several social science disciplines — from political science to American studies — but must take additional course work in other disciplines; it is important to connect with the secondary program coordinator to plan an appropriate course of study. Programs leading to certification in the k-12 areas of art, music, dance and theater are also offered by the program.
The department also offers an M.A. in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) that can lead to certification in that area. Candidates for certification can pursue their teaching credentials either at the undergraduate level or through the Master of Arts in Teaching program, which leads to a masters and eligibility for certification. Teachers who are interested in their own professional development can pursue the Master of Arts in Education degree; these programs are often available through cohort programs made available on site through our local school system partnerships.
The programs provide the opportunity for teacher candidates to engage in practicum experiences each semester. These diverse experiences are provided through professional development schools and other partnership arrangements with school systems in the Baltimore-Washington corridor. A number of partnerships with school districts offer students opportunities to integrate theory and practice and to learn from experienced teachers and other professionals in classrooms and other school-based settings.
The certificate programs have been evaluated and approved by a team from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. Students who complete one or more of the programs are eligible for certification in more than 30 states.