Part 1. Purpose
The purpose of these regulations is to establish the professional standard for teacher certification in the Federated States of Micronesia. Consistent with applicable law, it shall serve as the basis for decision on issues pertaining to licensure and employment. It shall apply to all teachers licensed by or individuals seeking licensure from the FSM National Government.
Part 2. Statutory Requirements
These regulations are promulgated pursuant to 40 FSMC §114 and in accordance with the administrative procedural requirements contained in 17 FSMC §102-104.
Part 3. Definitions
In these Regulations,
- “Accredited Institution of Higher Education” means an institution of higher education that is accredited by internationally recognized accrediting agencies or commissions.
- “Associate Degree” means an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science Degree, earned at an accredited Institute of Higher Education.
- “Career and Technical Education (CTE)” means any educational course or program designed to instruct students in skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies or career preparation up to but not including college or university level.
- “Chief State School Officer” means the State Director of Education or other highest-ranking educator with day-to-day administrative authority and control over the educational system of each state.
- “CTE Standards Committee” means a temporary committee, established by the Secretary of Education, to determine the validity of Trade and Industry Certificate or Journeyman Certificate, for the purposes of conferring FSM Teacher Certification status to the holder.
- “Early Childhood Care and Development” means any public or non-public institution that provides instructional and other relevant services to children aged zero (0) to five (5).
- “Early Childhood Education” means any public or non-public school or other institution that provides instructional and other relevant services to children aged three (3) to five (5).
- “Elementary school” means an institution that imparts teaching and learning from grades one (first grade) through eight (eighth grade).
- “Journeyman Certificate” means a qualification that certifies that the holder has met the requirements of time in a trade and industry (usually a minimum of 8,000 hours) and the required time for classroom instruction (usually a minimum of 700 hours).
- “National Standardized Test for Teachers (NSTT)” means the process for testing the competency of teachers in the FSM for National Teacher Certification purposes.
- “Preschool” means any nursery school, kindergarten or special program attended by children during the period from infancy to age five or six, preceding attendance at elementary school.
- “School” means an FSM accredited public or private institution of learning at the elementary or secondary level, including a school with religious affiliation.
- “Secondary School” means an institution, which imparts teaching and learning beyond the elementary level up to but not including college or university level.
- “Secretary” means the Secretary of the FSM Department of Education of the National Government of the Federated States of Micronesia.
- “Specialized Content Knowledge” means a Bachelor Degree holder or higher, from an Accredited Institution of Higher Education, in a specific academic subject area, such as Math or Science.
- “State Director of Education” means the individual who is appointed by the Governor of each State and granted thereby the direct authority to manage and control daily affairs of the State Department of Education.
- “Teacher Certification” means the issuance of a certificate to a preschool, elementary, or secondary classroom instructor who has met the National Government qualification requirements set forth in Section 105 of Title 40 of the Code of the Federated States of Micronesia.
- “Teacher” means a classroom instructor who has attained the FSM National Government teacher certification standards and whose primary function is to impart knowledge to students in schools.
- “Trade and Industry Certificate” means a certificate of certificates issued by an authorized trade and industry body to a candidate who has passed an approved test having completed the equivalent of at least one year of recognized training.
Part 4. National Teacher Certification Requirements
- No person shall serve as a teacher in any elementary or secondary school within the Federated States of Micronesia, without first having obtained a National Teacher Certificate from the FSM National Department of Education.
- The certificate shall be issued without cost to the teacher, in such form as the Secretary determines.
- Each State Director of Education shall ensure that all teachers, at both public and private schools in the Federated States of Micronesia, shall be duly certified and in possession of a valid teacher certificate as required by law and these regulations. Upon a finding, after notice and a hearing conducted consistent with the provisions of section 109 of FSM Code Title 17, Chapter 1, that any person has served as a teacher without a valid certificate issued pursuant to law or regulations, the Secretary may withhold or withdraw accreditation of the school where such person has served or is serving.
Part 5. Qualification Requirements
The following Qualification Requirements for National Teacher Certification shall apply.
1. Minimum Education Qualifications
- An Associate of Arts (AA) an Associate of Science (AS) or an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree will be the Minimum Education Qualification required to teach in any FSM School, except that;
- the Minimum Education Qualification required for Career and Technical Education teachers in any FSM School shall be:
- An Associate of Arts (AA), an Associate of Science (AS) or an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree; or
- One-year College certificate of CTE from an accredited Institution of Higher Education, and four years of relevant work experience; or
- A Journeyman Certificate and two years of relevant work experience.
- Special National Teacher Certificates shall be issued to non-degree cultural teachers, Early Childhood Care and Development teachers, Teacher Aides, School Librarians or other categories of teacher or teacher-support staff who meet each respective state department’s adopted requirements.
2. National Standardized Test for Teachers
The Secretary of Education, in cooperation and consultation with the State Directors of Education, shall establish a National Standardized Test for Teachers (NSTT). The NSTT shall be used to determine the qualification of candidates for certain types of National Teacher Certificate and for certain specialized teaching positions in the FSM.
Part 6. Types of National Teacher Certificate
There shall be of six (6) types of National Teacher Certificate.
1. Temporary National Teacher Certificate
Temporary Certificate shall be issued to a teacher who is employed on a short-term basis or to a volunteer (such as JOCV, World Teach, Peace Corps) who has a minimum of an Associate Degree. Temporary certificate is valid for up to two years and may not be renewed.
2. Basic National Teacher Certificate
Basic certificate shall be issued to a teacher who has an Associate Degree and who has passed the NSTT, or to a CTE teacher who has the Required CTE Qualification and who has passed the NSTT. Basic certificate may be renewed after four (4) years upon the respective state Director’s recommendation.
3. Intermediate National Teacher Certificate
Intermediate Certificate shall be issued to a teacher who has a Third Year Certificate in Teacher Preparation (Elementary Education) from COM-FSM and who has passed the NSTT. Intermediate Certificate may be renewable after four (4) years upon the respective state Director’s recommendation.
4. Advanced National Teacher Certificate (Level 1)
Advanced Certificate shall be issued to a teacher who has a Bachelor’s Degree or higher and who has passed the NSTT. Level 1 Advanced Certificate may be renewed after four (4) years upon the respective state Director’s recommendation.
5. Advanced National Teacher Certificate (Level 2)
Advanced Certificate shall be issued to a teacher who has a Bachelor’s Degree or higher in Education or who has Specialized Content Knowledge and who has passed the NSTT. Level 2 Advanced Certificate may be renewed after six (6) years upon the respective state Director’s recommendation.
6. Special National Teacher Certificate
Special Certificate shall be issued to a non-degree cultural teacher, Early Childhood Care and Development teacher, Teacher Aide, School Librarian or other categories of teacher or teacher-support staff who meet each respective state department’s adopted requirements. Such certificate may be renewable after two (2) years upon the respective state Director’s recommendation.
Part 7. Issuance of National Teacher Certificates
- National Teacher Certificate shall be issued by the Secretary, upon the recommendation of the State Director of Education and through the State Department of Education.
- State Directors of Education shall ensure that all teachers recommended for certification meet the minimum requirements set out in these regulations.
Part 8. Temporary Waiver
Upon a finding of good case shown, the Secretary may, on a case-by-case basis, issue a temporary waiver of the certification requirement herein. Temporary waiver is valid for one year and shall not exceed the one-year period.
Part 9. Existing Certificates
All existing certificates shall remain in effect until they expire, at which point a new certificate may be issued in accordance with these regulations.
Part 10. Revocation or Suspension
- Any person who violates the provisions of these Regulations shall be punishable in accordance to law. Such person may be terminated and permanently barred from teaching in any school in the FSM.
- The Secretary may revoke or suspend any certificate issued pursuant to law or regulations if he determines that the teacher is not in compliance with the requirements set by law and/or regulations. State Department of Education may report non-compliance to the Secretary. Such revocation or suspension proceedings shall comply with the procedures for agency action set forth in sections 108 through 110 of title 17 of this code, or with such other administrative procedures as may be provided by subsequent enactment.
Part 11. Restrictions and Penalties
- Each State Director of Education shall ensure that all teachers, at both public and private schools in the Federated States of Micronesia, shall be appropriately certified and in possession of a valid teacher certificate as required. Upon a finding, after notice and a hearing conducted consistent with the provisions of section 109 of title 17 of this code, that any person has served as a teacher without a valid certificate issued under this chapter, the FSM Secretary of Education may withhold or withdraw accreditation, under section 108 of this chapter, of the school where such person has served.
- An aggrieved person may appeal decision made as to denial, revocation, or suspension of teaching license/certificate or decision to withhold or withdraw accreditation. Appeal hearings shall be conducted pursuant to Title 17 of the FSM Code.
Part 12. Issuance of Certificate Duplicates
In case of a loss or damage certificate, a duplicate certificate may be issued without cost to the teacher if requested by the appropriate State Director of Education.
Part 13. Validation of Certificates
FSM National Teacher Certificate shall bear the official insignia of the FSM National Department of Education. The Secretary or his designee shall validate all National Teacher Certificates by affixing his signature on the said document. The FSM Department of Education shall be responsible for the safekeeping of data records of all certified teachers and safeguarding copies of all certificates issued by the department.
Part 14. Repealing Effect
All other rules or regulations which are inconsistent with the provisions of 2016 FSM Teacher’s Certification Regulation are hereby repealed, amended and modified accordingly.