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Alternative Certification for Effective Teachers (ACET)

A Teacher Preparation Program for Degree-Holding Professionals Who Wish to Become Teachers
Application Dates and Deadlines
  • Applications for the Fall/Winter 2021 Cohort will be accepted now through August 15, 2021.
  • The next cohort application deadline will be February 1, 2022.

Virtual Information Sessions for Fall 2021

Zoom information session, Monday, October 4, 6:30 p.m.  email  for meeting information.

Watch the recorded information session below for more information. 


Montgomery College and Montgomery County Public Schools have partnered to offer an innovative teacher preparation program for talented individuals who wish to change careers and become teachers in MCPS secondary schools. 

This competitive admissions program is designed to address MCPS needs for excellent teachers in high demand fields. Subject areas may vary from year to year depending on MCPS needs and teacher shortage areas and include areas such as: 

  • Secondary: Chemistry, Computer Science, English, Mathematics, Physics,
    Technology Education  
  • Middle School: Mathematics and Science 
  • World Languages: French and Spanish (placement in middle and high schools, with Pre K-12 certification)

Potential candidates must have:  

  • at least a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 2.75
  • expertise in their selected teaching field as supported by course work / experience / test scores
  • earned required scores on basic skills testing and the content exam (Praxis or ACTFL) in their desired field  at the time of application 

If you have a bachelor's degree and wish to become a teacher but the ACET program is not for you, see Alternate Paths to Teacher Certification in Maryland.  

Program Overview and Schedule

Following a competitive admissions process, selected candidates join a cohort for 10 to 12 weeks of intensive coursework, followed by a five-week teaching internship, and a one-year supervised teaching residency in MCPS with full pay and benefits.

Teaching Institute

The instructional component of ACET includes 10 to 12 weeks of intensive coursework, with classes meeting most Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings and some Saturdays. The Teaching Institute utilizes blended instruction, including face to face and distance learning, and includes performance based activities, development, planning, and delivery of instruction.

It is composed of eight modules, based on the InTASC standards, which include human development, learning theories, secondary methods, secondary assessments, diversity, students with exceptions, and collaboration and communication.  Students will also enroll in READ 238,  Literacy in the Content Area, Part I , if not previously completed. 

The following textbooks are required:

Carjuzaa, J. & Kellough, R. (2012). Teaching in the Middle and Secondary Schools (10th Ed.)Boston, MA: Pearson

Taylor, R., Smiley, L. & Richards, S. (2015). Exceptional students: preparing teachers for the 21st. century. (2nd ed.) Pearson: Boston

Saphier, J., Haley-Speca, M. & Gower, R. (2008). The skillful teacher: Building your teaching skills (6th ed.).  Acton: MA: Research for Better Teaching Inc.

Thompson, J. (2013). First-year teacher’s survival guide. (3rd Ed.) San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

For World Language Candidates only:

Hadley, A. (2001). Teaching language in context. (3rd ed.) Heile/Cengage: USA

Recommended Texts: 

DiAngelo, R. (2018) White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. Beacon Press: MA.

Kendi, I. X. (2019). How to be an Antiracist. One World: NY.

Kozol, J. (1991).  Savage inequalities: Children in America’s schools . Crown Publishers, Inc.: NY 

Note About Textbooks: Textbooks are not available in the College bookstores; the best way to obtain them is via an online book source. Additional readings and other resources will be assigned during the institute.


A five to eight week unpaid internship is offered following successful completion of the Teaching
Institute, with candidates assigned to MCPS at either the middle or high school level. During the first week candidates observe in their placement classrooms. For the next few weeks they teach with frequent observation and feedback from Montgomery College School of Education faculty with experience in supervising student teachers.


After successful completion of the internship, candidates will interview for paid positions in MCPS. Once candidates are placed, intensive mentoring and supervision along with a regular cohort seminar provide strong support for each teacher candidate.

Residents must also successfully complete the appropriate Praxis Pedagogy exam and READ 239, Literacy in the Content Area, Part II
at MC or equivalent professional development course in MCPS. At the end of a satisfactory resident year, candidates will be awarded the MSDE Standard Professional Certificate I.

How to Apply

Follow these step-by-step directions to apply for the ACET program.

  1. Take Required Tests or Provide Test Scores: You must provide evidence of passing BOTH the Basic Skills Test (any one of the options listed there) AND the specified Content Knowledge Test for your teaching area in order to be considered for entry into the ACET program. For more information on the current status of Praxis testing, see the ETS Coronavirus Update page. 

    • Basic Skills Requirement: Present qualifying scores at or above the minimum on ONE of the following. Copies of SAT/ACT/GRE/Praxis I/Core reports are acceptable for basic skills test evidence. 
      • SAT taken after January 1, 2019, math and critical reading total score of 1180 OR

      • SAT taken BETWEEN April 1995 and December 2018, math and verbal/critical reading total score of 1100 OR]

      • SAT taken before April 1995, math and verbal total score of 1000 OR

      • ACT composite score of 24 OR
      • GRE taken before September 1, 2011, composite score of 1000 OR
      • GRE taken after September 1, 2011, composite score of 297 OR
      • Praxis I (Pre-Professional Skills Test) taken before September 1, 2014, composite score of 527 OR
      • Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Test, with the following individual component scores:
        Reading: 156
        Writing: 162
        Mathematics: 150
    • Content Knowledge Test: 
  2. Contact program assistant Fern Duncan at for a list of classroom videos to view in lieu of classroom visits which are currently prohibited. Reflections on these videos are a required component of the application.

  3. Submit the following electronically to the ACET program as described below:
     - Completed Application Evaluation Registration Form (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)  (unless you have applied previously)--you will be contacted by phone for payment information.
      - Completed ACET Application Form (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.) , including responses to essay questions provided
      - Updated resume including employment history and educational background, emphasizing any experience in teaching or work enhancing your ability to teach adolescents.
    [Note that PDF forms must be downloaded and saved first before being completed electronically, saved and then submitted.]

  4. Submit Transcripts: Have official college transcripts sent to the address below (NOT to the MC Admissions Office). Transcripts should include coursework, credit hours, overall GPA, and date of completion of degree. Note: Coursework completed outside the U.S. must first be officially evaluated by one of the MSDE approved agencies (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)

  5. Submit Professional References: Have two references from former or current employers  emailed directly to the Montgomery College School of Education. They must use the ACET Professional Reference Form (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)

All items should be submitted electronically to 
OR to 
Debra Poese, Director of Teacher Education Partnerships,

We recommend that you keep a copy of all documents for your records. After consideration by the Selection Committee, qualified candidates will be contacted to schedule an interview. 

Program Costs

The ACET program costs currently total approximately $11,000 for in-state students, and approximately $16,400 for out-of-state students. 

See the chart below for a breakdown of the costs and when each portion is due. Tuition and fees listed here are as of July 1, 2019, and are subject to change pending annual budget approvals. Books and supplies are additional. 

STEM professionals may qualify for the Noyce Scholar program to cover the full cost of ACET.

ACET Program Costs Breakdown
Program Component Cost for In-State Students (Total includes tuition and fees) Cost for Out-of-State Students (Total includes tuition and fees) Due
ACET Applicant Evaluation Fee $60.00 $60.00 With application
Teaching Institute (Coursework) $5,490.00 $7,790.00 In three blocks of module registration over the span of the Teaching Institute
Montgomery College CREDIT Application Fee (required ONLY for new Montgomery College credit students)  $25.00  $25.00 Before registration for READ 238/239
READ 238 and 239, Secondary Reading requirement (exempted if courses were taken previously)

Per Course:
$472.80 for Montgomery County residents
$915.60 for other Maryland residents

Per Course:
Before the beginning of the semester in which the courses are taken
Internship (five weeks standard)


$4,800.00 Before beginning of internship
Fall Residency Seminar


$641.00 August of resident year
Spring Residency Seminar


$641.00 January of resident year
TOTAL for all components



ACET is a Maryland Approved Alternative Preparation Program.