Teacher Professional Development in Rhode Island

Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website on professional development.

High-Quality Professional Development (HQPD)

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) requires that all elementary and secondary teachers in public school districts participate in High-Quality Professional Development (HQPD) each school year.

Rhode Island Standards for Teachers

Rhode Island's standards for teachers include Standard 10, which states, "Teachers reflect on their practice and assume responsibility for their own professional development by actively seeking opportunities to learn and grow as professionals."

Quality Standards for Professional Development

The Rhode Island Department of Education redesigned their teacher certification standards based on a foundation of high quality professional development.

Current Requirements for Professional Development

The latest requirements for professional development are listed as the Qualifying Professional Development Categories and Activities.

Goals are declared at the beginning of the 5-year process and there are 8 different paths that a teacher can take to complete the process:

1. College & University Coursework
2. Conferences/Workshops & Training Sessions
3. Collaborative and Partnership Activities
4. Involvement in Development/Improvement Processes
5. Individually-Guided Professional Development
6. Professional Leadership Experiences
7, 8. The conferral of a doctoral degree or the attainment of National Board Certification, if attained during the current renewal period, carry with them a 5-year grace period for the candidate, yielding Rhode Island certification for a total of 10 years.


I-Plans are individual professional development plans for recertification. I-Plans are created by each individual teacher and approved by the state.

Redesigned Certification Process

Rhode Island's new certification process started in January, 2005 as certifications came up for renewal. Certification for Eligibility for Employment (CEE) is valid for 3 years. If full-time employment is secured during these three years, then the teacher immediately applies for a 5-year professional certificate and develops an I-Plan. Scenarios for recertification are provided in the following document:

For additional details about renewal of Rhode Island teaching licenses, see the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website.

Page content provided by Kristen Pellegrino
Edited by Stacey C. Kolthammer