To address the Maryland State Department of
Education's serious shortage of special educators across
the state, two divisions of
SPSBE are working
with Prince George's and Montgomery counties to recruit
In Prince George's County, a partnership program
funded by a grant from the United States Department of
Education is aiming at preparing 40 new special education
teachers over a four-year period to serve children in
grades 1-12 who have mild to moderate disabilities.
Margaret King-Sears, professor of education at SPSBE
and director of the project, said that participants in the
program will receive 80 percent tuition assistance to
complete their master of science degree in special
education and will be employed in Prince George's County
Public Schools concurrent with the completion of their
two-year master's degree program, which leads to full
certification for teaching students with mild to moderate
disabilities. Teacher candidates are obligated to fulfill a
two-year teaching requirement in PGCPS.
Patricia Jamison, director of special education for
Prince George's County Public Schools, said, "The demand
for special educators is very high, and this partnership
with Johns Hopkins will help us to recruit, prepare and
retain the really exceptional educators that are needed to
work with our students."
Potential teachers include men and women seeking a
career change and who have an undergraduate degree in an
area other than special education, King-Sears said.
Provisionally certified teachers also are eligible for the
program. An information session for interested persons is
being held at the university's Columbia Center at 4:30 p.m.
on Wednesday, March 5.
To address its shortage of special education
instructors, the Montgomery County Public School system is
again working with SBSBE's Graduate Division of Education
to recruit and prepare teachers through the Professional
Immersion Special Education Master of Science. The program
was established in 2003 after the Maryland State Department
of Education declared a critical statewide shortage of
certified special education teachers for the third year in
a row, as well as shortages of teachers who are male and
members of minority groups.
The two-year ProSEMS program, which is open to
individuals with a four-year undergraduate degree, prepares
special education teachers to work with students who have
mild to moderate learning disabilities. The 42-credit
program offers one concentration for those interested in
teaching elementary or middle school (grades 1-8) and
another for those interested in teaching secondary schools
and adults (grades 6-12).
In addition to taking classes, students gain classroom
experience. During the first year of the program, they work
as substitute teachers for one semester and then as
teaching interns during the second. Throughout this time,
students receive intensive supervision from Johns Hopkins
faculty and educators from Montgomery County schools.
Candidates receive tuition assistance and are eligible
for a stipend in the second year of the program, when they
become full-time teaching fellows. The program leads to a
master of science degree in special education with
eligibility for Maryland state certification in special
education. Upon completion of the program, the
teacher-candidates must teach for three years in Montgomery
County public schools if offered a teaching contract.
To learn more about the Prince George's program or to
download an application, go to
For additional information, contact Margaret King-Sears,
project director, at 301-297-7040 or
firstname.lastname@example.org; or Jill Hildenbrand, Prince George's
County Public Schools project liaison, at 301-408-5505 or
Applications are also being taken now for the next
ProSEMS class for Montgomery County teachers, which will
start in August; for information and applications, contact
Sarah Slater, ProSEMS program coordinator, at 301-294-7940