The Creative Initiatives in Teacher Education (CITE) is a collaborative graduate-level teacher preparation program between Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) and the Maryland State Department of Education. Successful completion results in a Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree and eligibility for a Maryland teaching certificate in grades 1 through 6. Candidates will also acquire an emphasis on instruction for special education or English language learners.

The 2-year CITE program begins each Spring and consists of coursework over 6 semesters, with a blended learning model of face-to-face and online instruction in the evenings. Participants are engaged in a 2-hour a day classroom-based internship in an MCPS elementary school within their current employment as part-time support staff personnel with MCPS. In the second year of the program, interns participate in an extended Intensive Internship teaching practicum. CITE is designed as a cohort program that allows members to be part of a diverse collaborative professional learning community who rely on one another for support and professional development, like that of a highly functioning team in an elementary school.

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CITE Program image


Program Structure

As with all teacher preparation programs at UMCP, CITE prepares reflective practitioners for a pluralistic society through research-based inquiry. Interns preparing to be teachers in the CITE program learn to be reflective, develop a broad repertoire of teaching skills, establish cultural proficiency applications to the classroom, and base their teaching practice on sound theory and research. The structure of the program is built upon six knowledge areas: curriculum, learners, subject matter, pedagogy, social context, and educational goals and assessment.
Within these areas, CITE incorporates the following principles:

  • Multicultural Philosophy and Education
  • Higher Level Thinking Skills
  • Research: Knowledge, Inquiry and Interpretation
  • Reflection
  • High Leverage Teaching Practices
  • Team Building and Rapport with Others

Key Program Components

  • Inclusion of paraeducators, support staff, and other professionals interested in classroom
  • Opportunities for professional growth in a multicultural community
  • Instruction provided by faculty from UMCP and MCPS
  • Focus instruction on special education or TESOL education to meet student needs
  • Collaborative support from a master teacher, school-based administration, and UMCP faculty
  • Participation in a cohort experience with other CITE participants
  • Experiences in teaching with Montgomery County Public Schools

Frequently Asked Questions


CITE interns have acquired bachelor’s degrees in a variety of backgrounds and participated in a myriad of professional experiences. They are currently permanent employees of Montgomery County Public Schools in a supporting services role. Formal teaching background is not required, however, it is expected that interns will have experiences working directly with children. Applications and screening are completed by a team of staff members from both MCPS and UMCP.

Admission Requirements:

UMD Graduate School General Requirements

  • A detailed statement of purpose,
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate studies,
  • An official graduate school application to the University of Maryland at College Park, and
  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited college/university with a 3.0 GPA.

UMD CITE Program Requirements

  • Three professional recommendations including one from current principal/supervisor,
  • CV/Resume outlining experiences working with children, and
  • Demonstrated completion of math courses for credit that include Number Operations, Geometry, and Probability/Statistics.

UMD/MCPS Requirements for Selected Applicants

  • Completion of an interview by a team from MCPS and UMCP

At this time, the Graduate School application website is undergoing updates and is not available.  Please complete this pre-application Qualtrics Survey with your information so that we may review your credentials and begin the interview process.  It will be necessary to formally apply to the Graduate School beginning July 1, 2020, in order to acquire your official application.  


Please refer to the Guide to Applying for instructions on how to apply for graduate admission.

If you have questions or concerns, we ask you to first review our list of  Frequently Asked Questions. International applicants should visit the International admissions webpage for additional information.

For questions about the application process, or to check on the completion of your application, please contact Kay Moon, TLPL Graduate Coordinator, at (301) 405-3118 or

For questions related to the admissions process, prospective students may contact Kay Moon, TLPL Graduate Coordinator, at (301) 405-3118 or

For more details about the various types of financial assistance offered by the campus please visit the Office of Student Financial Aid.

There are also a number of fellowships and scholarships offered through the College of Education, the University, and through external sources which may provide tuition support and/or living allowance. Students must apply for these awards on their own, but the links that follow provide valuable information on searching for fellowships and scholarships. 

For more information concerning fellowships and scholarships, please visit: 

The College of Education Financial Aid & Scholarship webpage

The University's Scholarships webpage, and 

The Graduate School Student Fellowships & Awards webpage.


For further information, please contact:

University of Maryland

Theresa Nebel Robinson

Director, Creative Initiatives in Teacher Education (CITE)
Teaching and Learning, Policy, and Leadership
College of Education, University of Maryland College Park 

Carolina Napp-Avelli, PhD

Assistant Clinical Professor and CITE Liaison
Teaching and Learning, Policy, and Leadership
College of Education, University of Maryland College Park 

Montgomery County Public Schools 

Sydney Pinkard

Instructional Specialist, University Partnerships
Office of Human Resources and Development
Montgomery County Public Schools