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Certification Documents and FAQ

What types of Maryland teaching certificates are available?

  • Conditional Certificate, two-year certificate
  • Standard Professional I Certificate (SPCI), five-year certificate
  • Standard Professional II Certificate (SPCII), five-year certificate
  • Advanced Professional Certificate (APC), five-year certificate

What are the requirements for renewing my Maryland teaching certificate? 
Washington County Public Schools serves as the liaison with MSDE for any matters regarding certification and processes your Maryland teaching certificate request provided you remain under contract with our school system. Teaching Certificates have an expiration date of June 30 or December 31. All completed requirements for your current certificate must be submitted to the Human Resources Certification Office within three months of the expiration date (March for June renewals and September for December renewals). See below for the Certificate Renewal Information PDF for more information.

How do I get my course work approved?
Teachers who hold a Standard Professional Certificate (SCPI or SPCII) complete a Course Approval Form (CAF). The Course Approval Form (in the links below) is used to list all courses the teacher will take to earn a Master’s Degree or Master’s Equivalency. Approval is required to begin a program and to be eligible for tuition reimbursement. Course Approval Forms are on file in each school’s office.

Teachers who hold an Advanced Professional Certificate (APC) complete a Professional Development Plan (PDP). The Professional Development Plan is used to list all courses or renewal activities the teacher will complete to earn the six credits/renewal units required for certificate renewal. This plan is completed at the beginning of the certificate cycle. The plan can be amended by completing a Professional Development Plan Revision Request Form on file in each school’s office (an example is below).

Teachers working toward an incentive salary program (Master’s plus 30, Master’s plus 60, Doctorate) list required course work on a Course Approval Form to have course work approved and to be eligible for tuition reimbursement.

What are the options for earning renewal units for the Advanced Professional Certificate? 
Please check the APC Options for Earning Renewal Units PDF in the links below.

How do I provide documentation for certificate renewal requirements? 
If you have completed a course through a college or university, please provide an official transcript documenting the course grade.

  • Hard copy transcripts: Request the transcript to be mailed to your home, then forward to the certification office via school mail along with a note stating the purpose for sending the transcript.
  • Email transcripts: If transcripts are being sent via email, they must be sent from the college directly to the certification office at

If you have taken an MSDE CPD course through WCPS, the credit slip will automatically be sent to the certification office upon course completion. MSDE CPD credit slips for courses taken outside of WCPS will be sent to you. It is your responsibility to submit these credit slips to the certification office for use in certificate renewal.

Advanced Professional Certificate holders may submit documentation for renewal units by completing the Verification of Completion or Attendance Form below. Attach appropriate documentation to the form per the APC Options for Earning Renewal Units, also below. 

How do I apply for certificate renewal?
WCPS will process certificate renewals for all contracted teachers. Certificates have two issuance dates - January 1 and July 1. The certification office will send you a certificate renewal packet at least three months prior to your certificate expiration.

How will I know when my certificate has been renewed? 
You will receive a letter from the certification office once your certificate is renewed. This letter will contain important information about the type of certificate you hold and your specific renewal requirements. It is important to keep this letter for your records and to review it every year.

How do I obtain a copy of my certificate?
All teachers may view and print certificates (see Instructions for Printing Certificate PDF, below) by logging on to the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) website.  Once on the site, click “Login Here” to access your account. Certificates cannot be printed before the issuance date.

What are the guidelines for tuition reimbursement?
All WCPS teachers are eligible for tuition reimbursement for a maximum of nine credits per year (download the Tuition Reimbursement Procedures PDF and Tuition Reimbursement Form PDF below). The cycle for the reimbursement year begins with the college’s Summer term and continues through the Fall term and Spring term. The reimbursement rate is $350 per credit. All course work must be pre-approved on a Course Approval Form or Professional Development Plan in order to be eligible for reimbursement. Teachers may apply for reimbursement upon course completion using the Tuition Reimbursement Form. 

How do I apply for Reimbursement for License Renewal?
Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, and Speech-Language Pathologists are eligible for reimbursement of fees incurred to obtain required licensure. Reimbursement may be requested by submitting a License Reimbursement Request Form below, proof of payment, and a copy of the license.

How can I add endorsement areas to my teaching certificate?
Endorsement areas for teaching may be added to a certificate by completing 30 credits in the content area or by passing the appropriate Praxis II test with a qualifying Maryland score. Endorsements are added by the certification office upon written request.

For a complete list of testing requirements, visit the Maryland State Department of Education website.

Endorsement areas for specialists (Administrator, School Counselor, Media Specialist, etc.) may be added by completing the requirements on a course work evaluation. Evaluations are completed by the certification office upon written request.

Am I eligible for the Senior Teacher Waiver?
Check the Senior Teacher Exemption Form, below.

This information is intended for contracted teachers of Washington County Public Schools. If you are not a Washington County teacher, please contact the Maryland State Department of Education, 200 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21202 or call 1-866-772-8922. You may also obtain information about Maryland certification at the MSDE website.  The certification office of WCPS is not authorized to complete evaluations, credit counts, or certification for individuals who are not employed as contracted teachers with Washington County Public Schools.