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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

The next cohort begins August 2024.  The NEW Application due date is June 1, 2024.

Virtual Information Sessions 

Information sessions feature a formal presentation on the ACET program and a brief time for questions. Register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Can't make these sessions?   View the recorded information session below. 

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.  See application dates and deadline.

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: Biology, 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
  • documentation of meeting basic skills requirements

     and completing 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 six-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.

    • Basic Skills Requirement: Candidates must document a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 on their most recently earned degree OR earn a qualifying score on an approved basic skills assessment. 
  • Contact program assistant Fern Duncan at  to be connected to schools for classroom visits (unless you are already an MCPS support staff member in a middle or high school.)  Reflections on these visits (or on your work experiences if you are in MCPS) are a required component of the application.
  • 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)
      - Completed ACET Application Form (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window) attaching 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.]

  • 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

  • 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 either by mail to: 

ACET Program 
Attn: Dr. Glenda Hernández Tittle, School of Education 
Montgomery College 
51 Mannakee Street, SV 406B
Rockville, MD 20850

Or electronically to
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 currently costs approximately $15,000 for in-state students. For out-of-state costs, please contact the ACET Program directly.

Detailed information will be posted once available.

Grants and Financial Support Opportunities

240 Tutoring gives Back scholarship!
$1,000 Scholarship - Students are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity

Empower Future Educators

The 240 Tutoring Team is thrilled to announce the return of the 240 Tutoring Gives Back scholarship! Offering a $1,000 award to an aspiring educator, this scholarship represents our commitment to fostering the future of teaching.

Scholarship Details:

  • Award: $1,000 for one teacher candidate
  • Application Period: Open through January 26, 2024
  • Apply Now: Scholarship Applicationnew window

Who Should Apply?
Candidates will need to provide insights into their journey towards becoming a teacher:

  1. For Those Who Have Taken Their Certification Exams: How did you prepare? Your experiences are valuable to future candidates.
  2. For Those Preparing for Exams: What are your strategies? Share your approach with the community.
  3. Teaching Aspirations: Which grade level and subject area are you passionate about? Help us understand your educational goals.

For any inquiries, please get in touch at Discover more at 240 Tutoringnew window and explore 240 Tutoring Student Resourcesnew window.

240 Tutoringnew window wants to nurture the next wave of exceptional educators together. MC Students are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity.


ACET is a Maryland Approved Alternative Preparation Program.