Advanced Academic Study: upper level undergraduate course (or equivalent) where content is new to the educator or graduate level course (or equivalent)

Content Area: academic discipline/subject matter of certificate.

District Professional Development Plan: delineates district goals; includes School Improvement Plans' goals; defines activities through which staff will meet professional growth and recertification requirements, including no-cost options and specific content to be addressed; sets forth a professional development budget; includes district's professional development offerings.

Individual Professional Development Plan: the educator's five-year plan which outlines professional activities for purposes of recertification. [Download a copy of MTA's IPDP folder.]

No Cost Option: in requiring Massachusetts' educators to recertify, the Education Reform Act provides that there shall be a no-cost option. The Board of Education has charged districts with this responsibility.

Pedagogy: teaching methods

Primary Certificate: when an educator holds more than one certificate, s/he designates one as the "primary" certificate, generally the one under which the educator is working.

Professional Development Point (PDP): unit created to measure professional development activities:

  • 1 clock hour = 1 PDP
  • 1 semester hour = 15 PDPs
  • 1 CEU = 10 PDPs
  • Advanced Academic Study or DOE Activities = 1.5 PDPs/clock hour

Topic: A single or tightly integrated area of study within an academic discipline or related to a particular method of teaching or administration.