The Division of Certification and Accreditation was created in 1970. This division certifies teachers and other professional personnel; oversees the preparation and assessment of candidates for principalship; and approves the educational programs of nonpublic schools. Under the division are three branches: Certification, Nonpublic School Approval, and Program Approval and Assessment.
The Certification Branch was formed in 1981. The branch certifies teachers, specialists and administrators employed in public and private schools, other state institutions and the general public.
Nonpublic School Approval Branch
The Nonpublic School Approval Branch began operation in 1948 as the Nonpublic Schools Accreditation Branch. It received its current name in 1994. The branch approves the educational programs of nonpublic nursery schools, kindergartens, elementary schools, middle schools, secondary schools, schools for the disabled, and entities licensed by other state agencies, such as the Department of Juvenile Justice. The branch also registers church-operated nonpublic schools and other nonpublic entities who are not approved or supervised by the State Board of Education or a local board of education. The branch also publishes the annual Directory of Approved Nonpublic Schools in Maryland.
Program Approval and Assessment Branch
The Program Approval and Assessment Branch began in 1981 as a part of the Teacher Education and Certification Branch and reorganized under its present name in 1994. The Program Approval and Assessment Branch evaluates and approves programs to educate teachers and prepare other professionally-certified personnel. The branch also coordinates certification assessment of teacher and principal candidates.
Professional Standards & Teacher Education Board
The Professional Standards and Teacher Education Board originated in 1971 as an advisory board established by the State Board of Education. It was authorized by statute in 1991 (Chapter 662, Acts of 1991). With the State Board of Education, the Professional Standards and Teacher Education Board sets the standards and regulations by which teachers and other professionals are prepared and licensed for Maryland public schools. The board's twenty-five members are appointed to three-year terms by the Governor with Senate advice and consent (Code Education Article, §6-701 through §6-708).