Aug 30th, 2007 @ 10:14 am | Author:
The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and VCSU have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to offer VCSU's online programs in Technology Education (Tech Ed) to Maryland teachers.

Dr. Nancy Grasmick, Maryland State Superintendent of Schools, said, "We see this partnership between VSCU and the Maryland State Department of Education as a wonderful opportunity to expand access to preservice teacher preparation programs in Technology Education. With Maryland's teacher shortage in Technology Education, VCSU is ready to assist in building capacity to fill positions with qualified teachers."

The agreement was announced Friday, August 24, in a memo from Katharine M. Oliver, Assistant State Superintendent of Career Technology and Adult Learning, and John Smeallie, Assistant State Superintendent of Certification and Accreditation. The memo, which was addressed to local directors of Career and Technology Education and Directors of Human Resources, stated:

"According to the 2006-2008 Maryland Teacher Staffing Report, there remains a critical shortage of Technology Education teachers in the state. Meanwhile, the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) requires every high school student to earn at least one credit in Technology Education before graduation. Although teachers need to be properly educated in technology education, the options for technology education teacher education are limited."

The purpose of the agreement is to promote and provide for the ongoing development of teacher education programs in Tech Ed. With the support of MSDE as a partner, VCSU is offering its online tech ed program for addressing the critical shortage of tech ed teachers in Maryland. The intent is to serve individuals who prefer an online program and those who do not have access to the on-campus alternative available within the state. The partnership expands pre-service and in-service options for Maryland teachers at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

According to the terms of the agreement, MSDE's responsibilities include informing local school systems of the VCSU Tech Ed program as a means of addressing the teacher shortage in Maryland. VCSU's responsibilities including maintaining NCATE accreditation, ND state approval, an alignment to national standards, and informing prospective and current students of Maryland's critical shortage. Shared responsibilities include providing information about Tech Ed teacher education to local school systems, counselors, teachers, and other interested parties.

The agreement begins in the fall of 2007 and will be reviewed annually.