Teacher Education

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Download the learning outcomes PDF for our Teacher Education program here >>

Teacher education has a proud tradition in Downeast Maine, beginning in 1909 as the Washington State Normal School. UMM graduates become highly qualified teachers, drawing on a strong educational foundation in content and a variety of opportunities to work with K-12th grade classroom teachers. Below is information on our programs in:

Careers in Education

With a degree in Education, you can choose to pursue a career in a number of education-related fields, or you can return to school and pursue an advanced certification or masters degree in education. Here are some positions where an Education degree is valuable:

  • Athletic coach
  • Curriculum Specialist
  • Classroom Teacher
  • Day Care Administrator
  • Librarian
  • Literacy Specialist
  • School Administrator
  • Special Education Teacher
  • Title I Teacher

Elementary Education

classroom teacher

Download the Program of Study PDF for Elementary Education >>

Why study Elementary Education at UMM? Our Education program prepares you for a career in the classroom through a rich variety of hands-on practical experiences and extensive classroom opportunities. You will work with, and learn from, faculty with many years of classroom experience. When you finish the program, you will become a reflective practitioner and qualify for K-8 certification in the state of Maine.

Unlike larger universities, UMM offers individualized learning opportunities for students which allow you to develope close relationships with fellow students and faculty as you enjoy the pristine natural resources of the Downeast environment.

You will be able to apply what you learn through K-8th grade classroom experiences beginning your freshman year, and these field experiences will continue through out the program. During your final year at UMM, you will complete fifteen weeks of full-time student teaching under the mentorship of a cooperating teacher. The cooperating teacher, along with a university supervisor, will observe your teaching and provide valuable feedback, while you work collaboratively with other teachers and engage in professional development.

The Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education offers five different concentrations for students to chose from:

Community Engaged Learning: This concentration focuses on exploring community resources and challenges as well as provides foundations for rural education with additional local field placements.

English and Language Arts: This concentration provides individualized training in literature with a special focus on creative writing and grammar.

Environmental Literacy: The goal of this concentration is to give students a strong foundation in science. It also strives to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of humans to the natural world.

Marine Biology: The coursework of this concentration examines are local marine organisms and their ecosystems. Our science faculty specialize in teaching outdoors to enhance hands-on learning. You will learn about the biology and ecology of marine plants and animals inhabiting oceans, rocky shores, tidal pools, marshes, mudflats, and other marine environments.

Special Education: This concentration prepares students to become certified as special education teachers. It explores both the legal and foundational aspects of special education as well as practical training in teaching and assessment methods.

Secondary Education

Download the Program of Study PDF for Secondary Education >>

Teacher education has a proud tradition in Downeast Maine. Graduates from this program become reflective teachers, drawing on a strong educational foundation in content and a knowledge of students and how they learn. Education professors here model a variety of teaching methods, and pass on an enthusiasm for knowledge that makes learning and teaching fun.

You will be able to focus on a content area that you are interested in, and work closely with faculty who are experts in their fields. Additionally, you will have many opportunities to work with area public school teachers in their classroom for first-hand secondary education experience.

This program will prepare you to become a secondary school teacher (grades 7 through 12) with one or more concentrations in:

  • Visual Arts
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Life Sciences
  • Physical Science
  • Social Studies
  • Special Education

Pluralism Policy

It is the philosophy of UMM’s education program that curricula and courses provide a balanced and thoughtful approach to gender, race, ethnicity, and cultural diversity. Class presentations, discussions, assignments, evaluations, and texts incorporate, when appropriate, diverse histories, traditions, values, and behaviors. These multicultural components reflect local, national, and global human experiences and convey a sense of affirmation and appreciation of similarities and differences among people.

Link to the UMM Online Guide for Cooperating Teachers with Field Placements

Post-Baccalaureate Certification Programs

If you already hold a baccalaureate degree, UMM provides certification-only programs to prepare you for a teaching career at either the elementary or secondary levels. 

UMM offers professional coursework leading to Elementary Certification (K-8), Secondary Certification (7-12), in the fields of Art, English, History, Life or Physical Science, or Mathematics, as well as certification in Special Education (K-12).  It is possible to complete the certification program within three semesters if all content requirements are fulfilled. Maine has specific content requirements for Elementary Education Certification, but requirements for Secondary Certification in Maine vary according to the content area. Students with foreign educational credentials must submit transcripts for analysis to a credentialing agency.

Our individualized advising will assist you in determining which courses will best prepare you to meet the State of Maine certification requirements, as well as give you an excellent start in classroom teaching.

Please view additional information on each of our Teacher Certification Programs:

Elementary Education Teacher Certification

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Secondary Education Teacher Certification

Special Education Teacher Certification

Courses leading to the Teacher of Children with Disabilities (282) endorsement are offered by the University of Maine at Machias throughout the State of Maine and beyond via online courses delivery.

Special education coursework may be of interest to:

  • Current teachers in need of recertification credits
  • Pre-service education majors who wish to add a minor or concentration in special education to their degree
  • Educational technicians interested in earning teacher certification
  • Student completing a degree or program in special education
  • Caregivers such as family members or service providers in related fields

   Additional Programs for Educators

Bachelor of College Studies - Individuals pursuing a bachelor's degree may be interested in UMM's Bachelor of College Studies (BCS) Degree.  With the advice and guidance of the BCS committee, the student crafts an individual interdisciplinary set of courses that fits his or her background and educational goals.  By design, this degree meets the unique needs of traditional, non-traditional, and returning students who are not otherwise served by existing programs. If Special Education Certification and a bachelor's degree is your aim, you can earn a Bachelor of College Studies with a Concentration in Special Education.  

Student Teaching is required for all Education programs- In addition, student teaching in special education is available to qualified UMM students, as well as qualified students enrolled in the University of Maine at Augusta's (UMA) Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies with a minor in special education. 

Interested students should consult with their advisors for more information about the process for applying to student teach.  Students must apply to student teach one semester before they plan to teach; deadlines for application are announced each semester.

The application to student teach includes, but is not limited to: application form, transcripts, resume, essays, and letters of recommendation.  Applications to student teach must demonstrate:

  • Successful completion of Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam and the Praxis II Content exam (additionally, for students enrolled in the BCS Special Education program, they will need the Principles of Learning and Teaching tests).
  • Student Teaching in Special Education also requires successful completion of 27 credits in special education coursework with a gpa of 2.5 or better (at least 9 credits must be UMM coursework).

Putting theory to practice.


  • Heather Ball, Associate Professor of Special Education and Education Program Coordinator
  • Garret Lee, General Education Lecturer and Field Placement Coordinator
  • Daniel Qualls, Associate Professor of Education 

Adjunct Instructors

  • Judy Hanscom, Reading and Literacy Methods
  • Christi McCurry, Special Education

    Student Education Association of Maine (SEAM) at UMM

    UMM has an active chapter of the Student Edcuation Association of Maine which is NEA's student program.  Membership is for students who are enrolled in a postsecondary teacher education program which would lead to employment in the field of education making them eligible for membership in the National Education Association.

    The student organization provides materials, support, and opportunities to enhance your experience of UMM's education program. They sponsor trips to professional conferences and workshops as well as local teacher panels. They also participate in a variety of activities such as: the Haunted Forest, the Special Olympics, the Literacy Carnival, a Book Club for a local high school, etc. There is also a SEAM library on campus that offers many books, maps, math, manipulatives, and craft materials for you to use in your educational experience. The SEAM library is located on the second floor in Torrey Hall next to the Education Program faculty offices. Please feel free to stop by anytime and visit.

    For more information contact their Facebook group page by clicking here.

    To enroll in SEAM online, click here

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