Montgomery County Public Schools
Launch Teacher Preparation Program
Higher Ed and Public Schools Team Up to
Address Special Education Teacher Shortage
ROCKVILLE, Md.--Beginning in August, Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) will offer a Professional Immersion Special Education Master of Science Program (ProSEMS) as part of their teacher preparation partnership. ProSEMS is an extension of the Professional Immersion model, which was established between JHU and MCPS to fill critical areas of need in schools by bringing second career adults into the field of education. Upon completion of the two-year program, candidates will receive both their teaching certification from the Maryland State Department of Education and a Master of Science degree from JHU that will prepare them to teach students with disabilities.
ProSEMS was designed to address the critical shortage of qualified special education teachers in school districts across the nation. In Montgomery County alone, the school system is currently faced with approximately 19 vacancies in special education.
"Montgomery County has very high expectations for its teachers, which is one reason this partnership is so appealing to us," says Ginger Corpuz, Office of Human Resources, MCPS. "The program provides an excellent opportunity for individuals to put their educational and career backgrounds to use in the classroom."
The Montgomery Professional Immersion Master of Arts in Teaching (ProMAT) was established between JHU and MCPS in 1999. ProMAT graduates are currently located in 66 of Montgomery County's elementary and secondary schools, or over one third of the schools in the system.
According to Dr. Stephanie Carpenter, ProSEMS Project Director, JHU, "ProMAT has had a great deal of success, so when MCPS came to us with this need for special educators, we saw an opportunity to capitalize on what we've learned and help the schools expand their pool of qualified teacher candidates."
Candidates will serve as substitutes for the Fall 2003 semester and student teach in Spring 2004, all while taking courses in the evening. After successful completion of the first two semesters and summer session of the program, candidates will be placed as Teaching Fellows, with stipends, in classrooms for the 2004-2005 school year.
There are numerous benefits to this creative approach to teacher recruitment. "We have the opportunity to train these individuals and ensure a smooth transition to the classroom, so by the time they fill a teaching vacancy, they are already familiar with the school system and faculty," says Corpuz. "It's really a win-win for all concerned."
About the Program
ProSEMS courses will be offered in the evening at the University's Montgomery County Campus or at an MCPS facility. Interested candidates must possess a minimum of a bachelor's degree and a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. Prior substitute teaching, private school teaching or service as an instructional assistant is highly desirable. Candidates must also meet JHU admission requirements, receive a passing score on the Praxis I exam (Academic Skills Assessment) and participate in a joint MCPS/JHU interview.
The Montgomery ProMAT program is currently seeking applicants interested in obtaining Maryland certification in Secondary Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Science, French, Spanish, and English.
Candidates in both ProMAT and ProSEMS agree to teach for an additional three years in Montgomery County Public Schools following successful completion of their two-year teacher preparation program. An attractive financial aid package is available for qualified applicants.
Free informational sessions about ProMAT and ProSEMS will be held at the JHU Montgomery County Campus on:
For more information, please call (301) 294-7102 or visit www.goto.jhu.edu. Applications for ProSEMS and the critical need areas of ProMAT stated above are due June 30, 2003. Applicants are encouraged to apply early, as qualified applicants are offered admission until the program is filled.
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