The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Maryland about $2 million to launch a teacher certification program that will allow prospective teachers to take their initial courses online through the University of Maryland, University College.
About 40 candidates will take online courses this year with an eye toward starting practice teaching in Prince George's County schools in the fall. The state hopes to place 300 teachers in the county over five years through the program.
"We've never done anything like this to offer flexibility - students don't even have to be in Maryland for their initial coursework," said State Department of Education spokeswoman Linda Bazerjian. "We're excited about this because higher education is agreeing to look at the whole process in another way but still keep the quality factor."