Magazine article American Music Teacher

Professional Certification: National Certification for College Faculty and Highly Qualified Teachers a Professional Responsibility

Magazine article American Music Teacher

Professional Certification: National Certification for College Faculty and Highly Qualified Teachers a Professional Responsibility

Article excerpt

Should college and university faculty and highly qualified teachers become Nationally Certified? The answer is a resounding YES! Let's examine the What, Why and How of certification for these teachers.

What Is National Certification?

The mission of MTNA is to advance the value of music study and music making to society and to support the professionalism of music teachers. One dictionary definition of professionalism is "the skill, competence, or character expected of a member of a highly trained profession."

The MTNA web page states:

"Certification is a process that validates an individual's qualifications for a specific field of professional practice. It demonstrates to employers, clients and peers what the individual knows and is able to do. It signifies commitment to continued excellence in professional practice. In addition, it increases visibility, builds credibility, provides a goal for professional achievement and validates expertise for the individual to those outside the field."

The MTNA Professional Certification program is based upon a set of five standards defining what a competent music teacher should know and be able to do:

Standard I: Professional Preparation

Standard II: Professional Teaching Practices

Standard III: Professional Business Management

Standard IV: Professionalism and Partnerships

Standard V: Professional and Personal


Upon fulfillment of these standards, applicants are granted the MTNA

Professional Certification credential with the designation, Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM).

Through National Certification, MTNA provides qualified teachers with the means of identifying ourselves to the public as those pledged to the highest standards of music teaching. The Certification program gives recognition to the art of music teaching and to our professional association as a whole. Many highly qualified teachers regard becoming certified as a "duty to the profession." We should collectively support a program that establishes a high standard of teaching.

National Certification attests to both teaching ability and education in one's chosen profession. National Certification has never been about waiting lists, raising tuition or receiving more recognition. It is about professional responsibility and joining with others through our professional association, MTNA, to give strength to the idea of professionalism within our ranks.

Why Should College Faculty And Highly Qualified Teachers Be Certified?

What meaning does the MTNA certification program have for highly qualified teachers and for the college teacher whose faculty status already attests to academic and professional competence? These teachers have degrees from some of the finest schools in the United States, are sought after as teachers, master class clinicians and adjudicators, and are respected by their colleagues. Why should they pursue national certification?

Raising the standards of the music teaching profession is good for all musicians. As a nationally certified teacher, you will be standing for something bigger than yourself; you will be part of a plan that has a national organization behind it, an organization whose goal is the overall betterment of the music teaching profession in every possible way, an organization that promotes the highest standards in music teaching. When one is nationally certified, one becomes part of that goal.

College faculty status implies that your teaching capabilities have met a high standard, and your diplomas attest to your education. Displaying your NCTM certificate proves that you care about your chosen profession and your own role in it. As an M.D. would you decline participation in the AMA as it attempts to put that group's best face forward to the general public? Certification means that teachers holding prestigious university teaching positions believe that the music teaching is a valid professional goal and that MTNA's efforts to gain public recognition of this fact and to support higher standards has their full support. …

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