Office of Educator Preparation

Frequently Asked Questions

(Please contact Linda Evans with specific questions related to initial teacher certification that might be added to this list).

 

How long are Praxis scores valid?

Praxis scores are valid for a period of 9 years, 11 months.

What if I need help paying for the Praxis exams?

ETS offers a fee waiver if you meet certain requirements.  The waiver is available for the Praxis Core or one Praxis II (subject assessment).  Details here: http://www.ets.org/praxis/about/fees/fee_waivers/

How long are Fingerprints valid?

 Fingerprints are valid for a period of 5 years. A 5-year approval card is issued (when you have had your fingerprints taken, paid the $55.00 fee and mailed your application and $15.00 to the MDOE).

If fingerprints were taken and a card was not issued (approval or Ed Tech) then the prints (per the FBI) are only good for a period of two years. In this instance, you will need a re-check with the $24 fee. Please check beforehand if you are unsure.

http://www.maine.gov/doe/cert/fingerprinting/approval-instructions.html (go to this site and review the application instructions).

Do I need to take the Principles of Teaching & Learning (PLT) to become certified?

Since you have completed a state approved (NEASC) and nationally accredited (CAEP) educator preparation program, you do not need to take the PLT. If the MDOE requests this after their evaluation, it is because the MDOE has not been notified of the completion of the approved program and the comment did not appear on the official transcript that was mailed.

Can a secondary intern get certified in one area and teach in another subject by taking the Praxis II in that content area?

A 7-12 intern who would like to teach in another/different content area would need to meet the full requirements of that endorsement, including the methods course, Praxis II and 24 credits.

How do I become Highly Qualified (HQ)? Is it different for K-8 and 7-12 certified teachers?

For K-8, the requirements include: BA, fully certified in Elementary Education and demonstrated content competency through having 24 credits in the subject/discipline you will be teaching, or passing the relevant Praxis II middle school test in the subject/discipline you will be teaching if in a departmentalized/single-subject middle school classroom.  These HQT requirements will remain in effect for the 2016-2017 school year as we transition from NCLB to ESSA for the 2017-2018 school year.

For 7-12, HQ and certification are related but not the same thing. The individual would need to take the methods course in that particular content, take the relevant Praxis II, and have 24 credits in the content area. These HQT requirements will remain in effect for the 2016-2017 school year as we transition from NCLB to ESSA for the 2017-2018 school year.

How long does it take my Recommendation for Certification to be processed through the Office of Educator Preparation, the Registrar and the MDOE?

Once you have completed your recommendation for certification application, the Certification Coordinator willrecommend students to the Registrar and the MDOE on a weekly basis (usually Friday). This is an especially busy time of year for the Registrar’s Office, so please allow 3-weeks for processing time. Once the comment has been added to your transcript, you can bring/ send all relevant materials, including a copy of your official USM transcript to the MDOE.If you send your materials, the processing time may be a minimum of 10-weeks.

How will I know if the comment has been added to my USM transcript?

You can verify this by checking your unofficial transcript on MaineStreet once you know that all of your final grades have been posted for the semester.

When I order official transcripts, should I have them sent directly to the MDOE or to me?

Send/bring all application materials together in one package to the MDOE, including your official college transcripts.

What is the process for bringing application materials to the MDOE Certification Office?

Application materials will be reviewed on the days/times listed below. Application packets will be reviewed for completeness. If the application is complete, the appropriate fee will be collected and the materials will be date stamped the day it is brought in. A file will be made in your name and will be put in the processing drawer. Your file will be evaluated and processed in date order received, and after any other applicant’s files received on a prior date. This processing time may take a minimum of 10-weeks.

How do I check the status of my application with the MDOE?

Visit the MEDMS Report Portal on the MDOE website to check the status of your application at: https://www.mddedms.maine.gov/medms_public/ReportPortal/Portal.aspx?CurrentLocation=/Public+Reports/Certification

What are the hours/location of the MDOE Certification Office?

In-person visits: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9am – 3:30 pm for processing in-person applications. By phone: Monday through Friday from 9am-3:30pm.

MDOE is located at 111 Sewall Street, Augusta in the Burton Cross Building on the 5th floor. You may contact the office with questions 207-624-6603, email: cert.doe@maine.gov

How do I apply for Out-of-State Teacher Certification?

Maine does not have reciprocity or an interstate compact with any state. Consult the State Department of Education website from which you seek a teaching certificate to learn more about any additional certification requirements or specific application procedures. Please check with the state you wish to get certified, you will need to meet their requirements.

Once you have completed the application, you will need to send the appropriate form that will require Certification Coordinator’s verification/signature. Please call Linda Evans at 207-780-5564 if you have any questions related to out-of-state certification.