Early Childhood Education student teaches elementary school

CSM Degree Programs

CSM offers three teacher education degrees:

  • Associate of Arts in Teaching: Early Childhood Education/Generic Special Education Birth to Grade 3
  • Associate of Arts in Teaching: Elementary Education/Generic Special Education Grades 1-6
  • Associate of Arts: Teacher Education: Secondary Education Grades 7-12

Maryland Certification

Certification in Maryland requires at least a Bachelor's degree.  You can start your preparation at CSM and earn your Associate's before transferring to a four-year school to complete the requirements. 

The Associate of Arts in Teaching (AAT) degrees in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education are designed to transfer seamlessly to any public four-year school in Maryland.  Most private universities and out-of-state universities also accept these degrees, though transfer may not be seamless.

2+2 Partnership Programs

CSM has 2+2 partnerships that allow Early Childhood and Elementary Education students to complete their entire Bachelor's degree in Southern Maryland:

Notre Dame of Maryland University (B.A. Elementary Education with dual certification options)

  • Contact: Dr. Victoria Karol, Associate Dean for USM/ SM
  • 301-737-2500 ext. 310
  • vkarol@ndm.edu

Towson University (B.S. Elementary Education)

  • Contact: Dr. Laurie Haynie, Program Coordinator
  • 301-632-2900
  • lhaynie@towson.edu

These programs allow students to save money as well as complete their student teaching in local school systems, which helps build professional contacts and networks.

The Practicum

The practicum is an early field experience that requires teacher education students to complete a minimum of 45 hours of observation and participation in an assigned public school placement. 

It is NOT the same as student teaching and will NOT fulfill state internship requirements.  Rather, it is an opportunity for students to get involved in and experience the day to day life of a classroom and school as they make decisions about their future goals and aspirations prior to transferring to a four-year school to complete their teacher preparation.

Practicum courses require a granted petition (which means you need permission to register for one of the practicum courses).  Once you have completed the prerequisites, please contact the program coordinator to register for the appropriate practicum section.

Basic Skills Tests

All teacher education majors are required to pass a basic skills test. These tests measure basic competence in reading, writing, and math.  AAT students must submit passing scores prior to graduating from CSM, and all others must submit passing scores prior to transferring to a four-year teacher preparation program.  Students may submit scores from Praxis Core, SAT, ACT, or GRE.

Some test preparation materials are available at no cost through the ETS website.

ETS also sells study guides, and you can find test prep books through online merchants such as Amazon.com, etc.

  • ETS Store (click on the Store button at the top of the page and select Praxis test preparation)

CSM students can access Praxis test prep materials through the Gale Group (INFOTRAC) Database, available through the CSM Library. 

  • Gale Group (on-campus; scroll down the database list to click the Gale Group link)
  • Gale Group (off-campus; you'll need your CSM ID number)

CSM also offers a non-credit Praxis Core test prep course through Continuing Education.  Check the Ed2Go course listings for TED-5170 under Teacher Education

Get Involved

  • Stay informed regarding teacher education activities and opportunities with our CSM Teacher Education Facebook Group.
  • The CSM Teacher Education program is affiliated with Educators Rising (formerly the national Future Educators Association) and offers activities on all three campuses at various times of the year.
  • We have a chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, the international honor society in education.

Career Changers

If you already hold at least a Bachelor's degree and are interested in earning teacher certification, your best bet is to look into a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program.  These are initial certification programs at the graduate level that provide all courses required for certification.

It is strongly recommended that you complete a program through an accredited college or university - many people try to use their MSDE transcript analysis to find courses through a variety of schools ("course count" or "credit count") only to end up not being able to fulfill the internship requirement because they have not matriculated in a program.

If your existing degree(s) are closely aligned with the subject/grade you want to teach, it may also be possible to complete an Accelerated Certification for Teaching program or to be hired on a conditional certificate while you complete certification requirements.  These are highly dependent on the nature and extent of your existing coursework as well as staffing needs in school systems.

Locally, Notre Dame of Maryland University offers programs for career changers at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center (SMHEC) in California, Maryland.

Dr. Karen Wooten - Associate Dean, NDMU School of Education

MSDE Approved Courses

CSM offers several courses that have been approved by the Maryland State Department of Education for certification.

Contact Us

For information or assistance, please contact:

Professor Beth Settle
Teacher Education Program Coordinator

Leonardtown campus: 240-725-5459, C210

Prince Frederick campus: 443-550-6210, PFA 228