Professional Development Program - An Overview
The Professional Development Program was recently amended by the Commission. The changes to this program are described below.
Summary of Changes:
· All educators who have obtained a final license type will soon be required to complete Professional Development Units (PDUs) to renew, regardless of employment status. A “final license type” is defined as a license that an educator could choose to renew indefinitely, for the remainder of a career.
· Educators contracted half-time or more with a district still need to complete the same number of PDUs as previously. This means that educators on a three-year license complete 75 PDUs and those on a five-year license complete 125 PDUs. However, these educators no longer have to develop a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Plan.
· Unemployed educators need to complete PDUs, just like employed educators, in order to maintain their license, unless the expiration of their license is before January 1, 2013.
· No one is required to complete a CPD Plan. Instead, educators are required to: (1) track completed PDUs and enter them on a log; and (2) ensure that PDUs fit under one of seven “domains.”
· Some educators will report PDUs directly to TSPC, while others will continue to report to school districts. If an educator is unemployed, retired, or working as a substitute teacher, that educator must report PDUs on a Log of Professional Development Activities submitted directly to TSPC at renewal. Educators employed half-time or more by a school district need to report PDUs to their school district. School districts will then continue to report those PDUs to TSPC on the PEER forms.
· Holders of Substitute and Restricted Substitute Teacher Licenses will only need to complete 30 PDUs total when renewing their three-year license. All other licensees must complete 75 PDUs for a three-year license and 125 PDUs for a five-year license.
· These changes will be phased in over the next three years. For educators who have not previously been required to complete PDUs, this requirement will be phased in as follows:
o Educators whose licenses expire in 2013 will have to complete 25 PDUs total. (Substitute Teaching license holders will have to complete 10 PDUs total.)
o Educators whose licenses expire in 2014 will have to complete 50 PDUs total. (Substitute Teaching license holders will have to complete 20 PDUs total.)
o Educators whose licenses expire in 2015 or later will have to complete the full 75 PDUs for a three-year license, and 125 PDUs for a five-year license. (Substitute Teaching license holders will have to complete the full 30 PDUs.)
· TSPC will randomly audit individual educators. Educators should keep copies of all records showing completion of PDUs for at least six years.
Which licenses will require PDUs to renew?
· Basic, Standard, Initial II, Continuing, Limited, CTE II, Five-Year CTE, Initial School Psychologist, and Distinguished Administrator licenses will continue to require 25 PDUs a year.
· Charter School Registrations, as well as American Indian Language Teaching, Limited Student Services, Five Year Teaching (pre-1965), and Exceptional Administrator licenses will now also require 25 PDUs a year.
· Substitute and Restricted teaching licenses will both require 10 PDUs a year.
· Initial, Initial I, Restricted Transitional, and Emergency licenses will not require any PDUs. (With the exception of Initial School Psych licenses, as listed above.)
How many PDUs are required?
· IF an educator is currently employed by a school district half-time or more, nothing has changed; 25 PDUs per year, or a total of 75 PDUs for a three-year license and 125 PDUs for a five-year license are required.
· IF an educator holds a Basic, Standard, Initial II, or Continuing Teaching License and has substituted, or is retired or unemployed, a total of 75 PDUs for a three-year license and 125 PDUs for a five-year license are required.
o HOWEVER, this requirement does not immediately go into effect. Remember that this requirement will be phased in, beginning January 1, 2013.
· IF an educator holds a Substitute Teaching License or a Restricted Substitute Teaching License, a total of 30 PDUs will be required.
o AGAIN, this requirement does not immediately go into effect, but will be phased in, beginning January 1, 2013.
What activities may be used as PDUs?
· Activities must fall under one of the seven “domains” specified in rule in order to earn credit.
· Educators do not have to complete college coursework in order to earn PDU credit. Although coursework is completely acceptable, there are other options, as well. If an educator chooses to complete coursework, credit may be earned from a community college, college, or university. Also, either undergraduate or graduate level credit is acceptable.
· The approved PDU Activity List is NOT an exhaustive list. If an educator would like to use an activity that is not on the list, they should send an email to email@example.com and request that a specific activity be allowed for PDU credit. The activity will need to relate to one of the listed seven domains. Also, educators will need to be able to provide verification of the number of hours it took to complete the activity, in order for the activity to be eligible for credit.
· One activity that is NOT allowed for credit: actual teaching (substitute or regular employment) in a classroom.
How are PDUs counted?
· College coursework counts as follows:
o One quarter of college credit = 20 PDUs
o One semester of college credit = 30 PDUs
· Coursework can be at the college, university, or community college level. Credit can be obtained for both undergraduate and graduate level courses.
· For activities that do not have a specified number of credits attached, PDUs will be counted as one hour of “seat time” = one PDU.
· Some activities are limited; educators cannot use ONLY those activities to earn all of their PDUs. Please see the PDU Activity List for a current list of limited activities.
What documentation must be submitted to TSPC?
· This will depend upon whether the educator works for a school district in a contracted position half-time or more.
· If an educator is employed by a district, PDUs need to be reported to the employing school district, which in turn reports PDUs to TSPC on the PEER form.
· If an educator is unemployed, retired, or working as a substitute teacher, they must report PDUs directly to TSPC by submitting the Log of Professional Development Activities directly to the agency. All completed PDU activities should be listed on this form. Although educators should also keep documentation of all individual PDU activities completed, copies of those materials will only need to be submitted if you are audited by TSPC. Again, although educators may now download this form and use it to track progress, no one will need to send this form to TSPC until 2013.
Do educators need to complete a CPD plan?
· No. Educators are no longer required to complete a CPD plan. Instead, they simply need to ensure that the selected activities all fall within the seven approved domains. This change went into effect on May 25, 2012.
Can the same PDUs be used to renew more than one license?
· Yes. Educators never have to complete more than 25 PDUs per year total.
· For example, if an educator holds a Continuing Teaching License and a Continuing Administrative License, that person will only need to complete 25 PDUs a year, or 125 PDUs total for a five year renewal period.