College of Science, Technology, and Health

Teacher Certification

When pursuing teaching as an undergraduate at USM, your academic program will consist of three parts:  the USM Core Curriculum, a major, and professional teacher preparation. Successful completion of these will fulfill all requirements for teacher certification in Maine.

USM Core Curriculum

The Core curriculum is a set of requirements for all undergraduate students including an interdisciplinary entry year experience; college writing; cultural interpretation; quantitative reasoning; creative expression; socio-cultural analysis; science exploration; ethical inquiry, social responsibility and citizenship, a nine-credit thematic cluster, and a major capstone. 

Major

A strength of teacher preparation at USM is that students graduate with a full degree in a chosen major. Students select majors that align with subjects taught in classrooms. This design assures that students who are going to be teachers graduate from USM with strong content preparation. The ideal vision is for students to bring their passion and fascination of a subject to the children in their classrooms. The College of Science, Technology, and Health offers the following pathways to teacher certification:

Major

Leads to Certification in

Biology

7-12 Life Science

Chemistry

7-12 Physical Science

Environmental Science

7-12 Life or Physical Science or both

Geosciences

7-12 Physical Science

Math

7-12 Math

Self-Designed STEM K-8 Education major

K-8

Additional content areas are available from other USM departments. For more information visit the Teacher Certification website.

Professional Teacher Preparation

At USM, professional courses and experiences are integrated throughout a student’s career. Nearly every education course includes a field experience where students have the opportunity to observe and apply what they learn in real educational settings.  The culmination of teacher education pathways at USM is a yearlong sequence that connects theory and practice.  During this year students complete an internship in schools where they apply their learning in concurrent pedagogical courses.  Students also attend a seminar where they form a community of learners; discuss issues from their practice and the field at large; and develop their skills as reflective practitioners. 

USM is committed to having its students graduate well prepared for their first year of teaching with a solid academic and pedagogical foundation, both of which serve them in the classroom and future life endeavors.

Admission Requirements

Acceptance into the teacher certification tracks is contingent upon admission to USM and successful completion of the university’s writing and mathematics college-readiness requirements and fewer than 60 previously earned college credits.

Students must maintain a high level of academic achievement as follows:
• A grade of C or better in all University Core and major course work.
• A grade of B or better in all professional education course work.
• An overall GPA of 3.00 or better.

Prior to admission to the professional internship year, students must pass the Praxis I and II exams and demonstrate satisfactory progress toward the State of Maine Core Teaching Standards.

As required by partner school districts and prior to the professional internship, students must be fingerprinted through the State of Maine Department of Education.

Upon acceptance into an education track, students must register an account in USM's web-based teacher-education assessment system, Tk20 ($103 for a 20-year subscription).

Financial Support

Education students may be eligible for federal financial aid, teacher loan forgiveness programs and scholarships. There are special programs and scholarships available for students majoring in the STEM disciplines and pursuing teacher certification.

For more information about Teacher Certification in the College of Science, Technology, and Health contact Kelly McCormick at (207) 780-5020 or kmccormick@usm.maine.edu.

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