What are the types of PD activities that are eligible for PDPs?
A wide range of PD activities can qualify for PDPs, including but not limited to: (1) ongoing participation in job-embedded activities (e.g. mentoring/coaching, professional learning communities); (2) participation in a series of short-term activities in a given topic that equal 10 hours (e.g., workshops, seminars), and (3) long-term activities (e.g., university courses). Please see Appendix B in the Recertification Guidelines for additional examples.
What are the minimum requirements for professional development activities that are eligible for PDPs?
PDPs may only be awarded under the following conditions:
- The professional development is offered by the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE), a school district, an educational collaborative, or a provider that is registered with DESE (See question B2).
- The professional development must be at least 10 hours per topic.
- The professional development must include an assessment of learning (this may be an end-of-course assessment or an observable demonstration of learning).
- The professional development participant has met the provider's criteria for mastery.
Does the Department convert university or college credits to PDPs? How many PDPs do they earn?
Yes, as a general rule of thumb, one clock hour of an eligible professional development activity equals one PDP. This also applies to academic credit for upper-level or lower-level undergraduate courses.
Generally, 1 credit =15 hours = 1.5 CEUs = 15 PDPs.
However, there are a few exceptions:
- Upper-level undergraduate course (when substantially new to the educator) or approved equivalent = 1 semester hour = 22.5 PDPs
- Graduate-level course or approved equivalent = 1 semester hour = 22.5 PDPs
- Audits of undergraduate or graduate course or approved equivalent=1 semester hour = 7.5 PDPs
For more information on how university or college credits convert to PDPs, see the p. 3–4 of the Recertification Guidelines .
I was told that I may be able to convert certificates of attendance for less than 10 hours of PD into PDP's. How do I do that?
Educators may "bundle" several activities together when reporting their PDPs, provided they can demonstrate that these activities are related/similar in topic. To use PDPs for license renewal, an educator must accrue at least 10 hours of professional development about that topic. The easiest way is to do this is to select PD offerings that are at least 10 hours in length. (Note: You cannot receive PDPs via bundling unless you complete an additional follow-up activity demonstrating proficiency. See Question A2 for more information.
Can I earn PDPs for attendance at a professional conference?
PDPs are no longer awarded for attendance at a professional conference. However, an educator could receive PDPs if (1) the conference spans two or more days, and allows for attendance at a series of sessions/workshops on the same or similar topic totaling 10 hours or more and (2) if attendance results in a final product that would serve as an assessment of learning, such as developing a school-based activity or curriculum, or publishing written material.
Educators who attend a professional conference for less than 10 hours in a given topic may extend their learning to reach the required 10 hour minimum by developing a final product, such as the examples listed above. They may also "bundle" conferences on the same topic, but must still develop a final product, such as a resource that is published by the school or district.
Can I earn PDPs for attending professional development offered by a for-profit educational organization?
Yes, as long as the organization is registered with DESE as a PD provider and as long as the professional development meets the minimum expectations (see question A2).
Can I earn PDPs for attending professional development offered or sponsored by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education?
Yes, DESE may offer 1.5 PDPs per clock hour for professional development programs that it sponsors as long as the programs meet the minimum expectations (see question A2).
Note: For ESE-sponsored activities that do not have a pre- and post-content assessment, only 30 PDPs can be counted toward recertification in a five-year cycle. For more information about PDP requirements please see the Recertification Guidelines .
Can I earn PDPs for professional development that I design myself?
Educators may earn PDPs through an educator-designed professional development activity that results in a professional product that is related to the academic discipline of the educator's license, including published written materials such as a book, journal article, book chapter, dissertation, or thesis. Educators may also earn PDPs for developing and implementing an activity for students, parents or teachers that incorporates the learning standards of the curriculum frameworks. For more information, please see the Recertification Guidelines , p.6–7.
May I earn PDPs as a trainer/presenter of a professional development course/workshop or seminar?
Educators who develop and present a professional development workshop or seminar are eligible to receive twice the number of PDPs that are given to participants, with the presenter receiving a minimum of 10 PDPs and a maximum of 24 PDPs. These points may be counted the first time the training is provided in a five-year cycle.
Note: Educators are eligible to receive 30 PDPs the first time they make a presentation at a professional conference in a five-year renewal cycle. If a presentation is repeated, it is not eligible.
If I am not working in a public school, am I required to have written pre-approval by DESE for professional development activities before I enroll?
No, there is no such requirement. If you are not working in a public school, but may use PDPs toward licensure renewal in the future, be sure to maintain records of PDPs as you earn them.