Certification Update- Are YOU Due July 1, 2019?

Maine Department of Education is proud to share that our certification team continues to process a number of new certificates for those joining the education profession or who are seeking new endorsements. In addition, they have processed and issued renewed certificates to 48% of those whose certification is set to expire July 1, 2019.  While their turnaround time is currently, and amazingly, around three weeks, we are concerned that there are still 2,869 certificate holders who have not yet submitted the required documentation and payment, and whose certification will lapse July 1!  Please note that anyone renewing certification MUST fill out an online form and provide payment.  Information on how to create an account or for instructions on how to submit the renewal application is provided here for your convenience.

FMI or for any questions, please contact our Certification Team at cert.doe@maine.gov.

 

 

 

 

Input Sought for Teacher Shortage Areas

As part of a federal requirement, the Maine Department of Education submits to the U.S. Department of Education teacher shortage areas for designation, based on collected data and public input.  The U.S. DOE annually designates teacher shortage areas for purposes of deferment of loan repayments or reductions of teaching obligation.

The Department intends to propose the following as K-12 teacher shortage areas during the 2019-2020 school year:

  • Early Childhood (0-5)
  • Early Elementary (K-3)
  • English as a Second Language
  • Gifted/Talented
  • World Languages (French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, German)
  • Special Education (Teacher of Students with Disabilities, Teacher of Severely Impaired Students)
  • Science (Grades 5-8, Physical Sciences 7-12)
  • Theater
  • CTE (Automotive Mechanic, Carpentry, Computer Information Services, Machine Tool Operator, Weld Braze Solder, Plumbing, Law Enforcement, Co-Op Industrial Training, Agricultural Production, Forestry Products and Processing, Food Production Management, Business Administration, Child Care-Guidance)

The Maine Department of Education is committed to working with our schools to most accurately represent the needs and shortage areas across our state. We recognize the diverse geographic regions and varying conditions that comprise our public education system, and strive for equitable and accurate representation.

To provide input regarding a specific shortage area, or to propose additional shortage areas, please contact Emily Gribben with supporting materials by May 10, 2019.

MEDIA RELEASE: Certification Processing Reduced to Three Weeks

The Maine Department of Education is pleased to announce that its certification office has reached its operational goal of a three-week turnaround time for processing educator certification applications that are complete. This is an enormous improvement from the significant processing times educators have been experiencing.

“The Department has been working diligently to reduce processing times to ensure that qualified educators can receive a Maine teaching credential as quickly as possible,” said Commissioner Pender Makin. “We know how critical the certification process is, especially during a time when many of our schools are experiencing a shortage of teachers and substitutes.”

In 2017, the Maine Department of Education launched a new online certification system called the Maine Educator Credentialing System (MEIS). It is a web-based educator credentialing system which replaced an outdated paper application certification system. At this point in the rollout of MEIS, Maine educators and administrators are able to manage their certification renewals completely online. The next phase of the rollout will allow initial educator applications to be submitted completely online by educators, this will be followed by the rollout of the public certification portal.

Certification Processing Times & Reminders

A huge thank you to the education field for their patience and understanding as the DOE has continued to implement enhancements to the new online certification system and enhance information found on the certification webpage.

Processing Times

Additionally, the DOE is now taking steps to provide additional manpower to the certification team in the upcoming weeks. Processing time has been reduced from 12 weeks to 7 weeks (currently) for all complete applications and the intent is to continue to minimize processing time. Our goal is to reduce processing times to a 3-week turnaround time by the end of February.

Renewal Reminders

Ed Tech renewals that expire on February 1, 2019 will need to be done through the online certification system (Maine Education Information System portal). If educators have not yet created their online account, please do so. Step by step instructions on how to create an account and apply for renewal can be found here.

Teachers (and Ed Techs if applicable) will appear on the renewal verification list 6 months prior to their expiration date. Once you verify they have completed renewal requirements, teachers are welcome to complete their online renewal. If a teacher renews early, the new certificate will not begin until the current one expires.

Only renewal applications are being submitted through the MEIS system. For new certificates, new endorsements, or certificates that have lapsed, paper applications need to be mailed to or dropped off at the certification office.

Further information is available on the Maine DOE Certification webpage, or in the Maine DOE Newsroom. For specific questions about certification status contact the Certification Office at 207-624-6603.

Important Information Regarding Lapsed Certificates

Please note that we have just reached the 6-month threshold for all certificates that expired on July 1, 2018.  This means that any educator who has not yet applied for renewal is now considered lapsed and will need to submit an initial paper application. Educators with lapsed certification will now appear on the Superintendent’s violation list if they are currently employed.  If the support chairs had verified their renewal requirements, that verification is now null and void.  New applications submitted by the educators will need to include all contact hours and/or semester hours needed for renewal.  Because there is a lapse in certificate, these educators will now also need to be re-fingerprinted with IdentToGo before their certificates can be issued.

Ed Tech renewals that expire on February 1, 2019 will need to be done through the MEIS portal. For anyone who has not yet created an online account, please do so as soon as possible. Step by step instructions on how to create an account and apply for renewal can be found here: https://www.maine.gov/doe/cert/renewals

District Support Chairs – Teachers (and Ed Techs if applicable) will appear on your renewal verification list 6 months prior to their expiration date. Once you verify they have completed renewal requirements, teachers are welcome to complete their online renewal.  If a teacher renews early, the new certificate will not begin until the current one expires.

As a reminder, only renewal applications are being submitted through the MEIS system. For new certificates, new endorsements, or certificates that have lapsed, paper applications need to be mailed to or dropped off at the certification office.

The certification office will be posting updates on their home page http://www.maine.gov/doe/cert/index.html as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and in the DOE newsroom.