MACTE Guidelines Regarding COVID-19
The Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 health crisis and the implications it may have on programs and institutions. MACTE recognizes this is a rapidly changing landscape, and the goal is to provide flexible and reasonable accommodations to support our teacher education programs and adult learners.
The health and safety of adult learners, program faculty and staff, and onsite verifiers are of the utmost importance. Through the input of other accrediting bodies, the Department of Education, and leaders in higher education, MACTE has crafted guidelines to assist programs during this time. MACTE’s accredited programs are diverse, and we respect the autonomy and prerogative of programs to provide appropriate accommodations during these extenuating circumstances. Programs may be innovative in how they will continue to meet MACTE’s Quality Principles and prepare Montessori teachers who are competent, caring, and qualified.
MACTE emailed a JotForm link to program directors that all accredited programs must submit by May 15th. It is a brief form for all programs to complete to notify MACTE of their course changes due to COVID-19. If you are a program director of an accredited program and did not receive this email, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Programs adding or significantly increasing the amount of online education must submit an application for a Substantive Change 5B (Online Education). MACTE is waiving the usual substantive change fee.
The Department of Education provides the following information for programs shifting to online learning:
. . . distance learning does not require the use of sophisticated learning management systems or online platforms . . . an instructor could use email to provide instructional materials to students enrolled in his or her class, use chat features to communicate with students, set up conference calls to facilitate group conversations, engage in email exchanges or require students to submit work electronically that the instructor will evaluate.
A Substantive Change 4: Time Structure or Length of Accredited Certification Course will not be required for programs needing to alter their academic calendar. We ask that programs inform the MACTE office through the JotForm if there is a change of time structure (more than 25% of an accredited certification course), confirm all adult learners are aware of schedule changes, and when possible, the program’s plan and/or a copy of the updated meeting schedule.
Programs are encouraged to explore a variety of ways they can continue to develop and assess how adult learners are meeting the MACTE Competencies while children’s schools are closed. Program directors should check with their affiliate organizations to see if there are specifics on how to proceed with the practicum experience, such as details regarding acceptable practicum hours, continuation of field supervision, etc.
MACTE will consider a reduction of practicum hour requirements for the 2019-2020 cohorts. Program directors who have not received specifics regarding the reduction of practicum hours from their affiliate organization should contact the MACTE office. Adult learners participating in online learning environments for children may count the time spent doing so towards the practicum hour requirements.
Field consultants must still complete the required number of field visits, and these visits may be completed virtually. The intent of continuing one-on-one meetings with a field supervisor is to have continuity of support for the adult learner. Virtual field supervision may involve in-depth discussions stemming from time in the classroom, modeling lessons, etc.
Onsite verification visits and in-person meetings
Recognizing the importance of social distancing, the MACTE staff is working remotely until at least the end of March and will meet virtually for the regularly scheduled April board meeting. MACTE will communicate directly with programs scheduled for onsite verification visits on how to best proceed. Program directors should refer to federal, state, and international advisories to comply with safety and health policies regarding in-person meetings such as academic classes.
Federal, state and international advisories
Please monitor federal, state, and local government websites for up-to-date information and safety policies and protocols. Useful resources include:
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
U.S. Department of Education
World Health Organization
Support for international students
MACTE accredited programs have a large number of international students who may be impacted by circumstances such as travel restrictions, concern for family members in their home country, or acts of xenophobia. Programs can offer reasonable flexibility (i.e., allowing an adult learner extra time to complete work) and support (i.e., sharing where a student may receive counseling if distressed).
Title IV and FERPA compliance
The Department of Education has provided information on FERPA and COVID-19.
MACTE understands programs may face economic hardships with the closings of schools, etc. MACTE’s 2020-2022 Fee Schedule was set to begin July 1, 2020, which included fee increases. We have decided to defer the fee increases to help ease the impact of any economic challenges programs may face. The rates will remain the same as the current 2018-2020 Fee Schedule until at least June 30, 2021. Additionally, please reach out if you need additional time to pay annual dues.
We are all in this together
MACTE recognizes this is a stressful time for all, and we remain available to assist as situations arise. Please contact email@example.com with any questions or concerns you may have, as well as share the contingencies that are being put into place.