The Department of Education offers Maine Department of Education approved programs leading to a B.S. degree in Elementary Education (K-8), Secondary Education (7- 12), or Physical Education (K-12). Each program reflects research, beliefs and values concerning effective teaching and teacher preparation that form our Conceptual Framework of the Department of Education. The Framework has a knowledge base informed by research and best practices.
Each program consists of a General Education Curriculum, a subject area concentration, and a sequence of professional education courses (foundations, pedagogy, methods courses, and field and clinical experiences). The General Education Curriculum (40 semester hours) provides students with a broad foundation in the liberal arts and sciences. Courses that constitute the subject area concentration for each program provide learning opportunities for teacher candidates to develop knowledge, skills, values, and methods of inquiry. Through the professional education courses, candidates deepen their learning and cultivate professional dispositions necessary as future educators. The combined result of the General Education Curriculum, subject area concentration, professional education courses and field experiences is the preparation of effective teacher candidates who meet Maine’s Initial Teacher Certification Standards.
A Post-baccalaureate program is also available; this route is designed for individuals who hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university and seek initial teacher certification. Post-baccalaureate teacher candidates range from individuals who have no experience in teaching to those who have experience as teacher aides, tutors, or paraprofessionals.
Mission & Outcomes
The mission of the University of Maine at Presque Isle Deparment of Education is to provide an undergraduate program of studies leading to baccalaureate degrees in teacher education to a diverse student body including students from the United States and other countries. The values and beliefs of the program are driven by the Conceptual Framework of the Department of Education. The program of studies emphasizes and promotes a strong foundation in the arts and sciences as well as pedagogical skills.
The Department of Education values and emphasizes its Conceptual Framework, particularly the ideals of reflective practitioners having appropriate teaching dispositions. Additionally, each course is aligned with Professional Learning Outcomes that mirror professional certification requirements. Students will create, document and reflect upon evidence of meeting all eleven of Maine’s Initial Teacher Certification standards, which are an adoption of the InTASC Core Teaching Standards:
- Learner Development: The teacher understands how students learn and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.
- Learning Differences: The teacher uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that allow each learner to reach his/her full potential.
- Learning Environments: The teacher works with learners to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, encouraging positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
- Content Knowledge: The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners.
- Innovative Applications of Content: The teacher understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical/creative thinking and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.
- Assessment: The teacher understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to document learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s on-going planning and instruction.
- Planning for Instruction: The teacher draws upon knowledge of content areas, cross-disciplinary skills, learners, the community, and pedagogy to plan instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals.
- Instructional Strategies: The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to access and appropriately apply information.
- Reflection and Continuous Growth: The teacher is a reflective practitioner who uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (students, families, and other professionals in the learning community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.
- Collaboration: The teacher seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.
- Technology Standards for Teachers: (NETS•T) Effective teachers model and apply the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS•S) as they design, implement, and assess learning experiences to engage students and improve learning; enrich professional practice; and provide positive models for students, colleagues, and the community.
Requirements for Formal Admission
The Elementary Education, Secondary Education and Physical Education majors lead to a Bachelor of Science degree, and graduates are eligible for certification by the Maine Department of Education. This certification is recognized by other states and Canadian provinces with whom Maine shares reciprocity. All degrees carry the requirement of a subject area concentration along with General Education and professional education courses.
Professional Standing in Teacher Education
Majors are closely monitored and supported by their advisors as they progress through the program. Tk20, an electronic portfolio system, is utilized to track and assess student progress. All education majors are expected to work closely with their faculty advisors in the Department of Education to follow the prescribed sequence of courses for their particular major and for course approval. At the completion of all Level I requirements (see CoE Student Handbook), students receive candidacy in the Department of Education and are therefore eligible to move on in the program.
To be formally admitted to candidacy in the Department of Education, students must successfully:
➤ complete their first two semesters, both of which require mandatory field experience
➤ demonstrate evidence of appropriate professional teacher dispositions
➤ pass a candidacy interview with the faculty of the Department of Education.
Eligibility for Student Teaching
To be considered eligible for student teaching, the teacher education candidate must submit a completed application package to the Director of Student Teaching and Field Experience, and signed by his or her advisor, one full semester in advance of the anticipated practicum experience. The following criteria must be met by the end of the semester prior to student teaching:
➤ a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or greater;
➤ a 3.00 grade point average in the major and a 3.00 in the professional sequence;
➤ maintain the above GPA during the semester prior to student teaching;
➤ completed 100 credit hours, including methods courses;
➤ achieved qualifying scores on the Praxis I & Praxis II exams*;
➤ completed requirements for Tk20 at Level II*;
➤ documentation of successful background check resulting from fingerprinting through the Maine Department of Education;
➤ completion of appropriate background checks for jurisdictions outside of Maine;
➤ completed registration for EDU 495
➤ successful presentation and defense of professional portfolio to COE faculty
*The Praxis Assessment- The Maine Department of Education requires that applicants for teacher certification must achieve the established qualifying scores on the Praxis I, the Praxis II, and (in some cases) the PLT exam before initial certification is granted. Students will not be allowed to student teach until documentation of passing scores for Praxis I and Praxis II are received by the Office of Student Teaching and Field Experience. Students should consult with their advisor concerning required tests, qualifying scores, testing options, and availability of Praxis support services as soon as possible following acceptance into the program.
Certification by the Maine Department of Education is required by all University of Maine at Presque Isle Department of Education teacher certification students prior to making application for a teaching certificate in most of the Canadian provinces.
Requirements for Program Completion
For program completion, a student must successfully complete the General Education Curriculum, professional education sequence, and concentration requirements for a total of 120 credit hours. Students who complete any of the concentrations in the Department of Education and meet Praxis test requirements from the Maine Department of Education are eligible for Maine teaching certification and one or more endorsements in their content and grade level area. This certification is recognized by other states and Canadian provinces with whom Maine shares reciprocity. Numerous other career opportunities are available to certified teachers, both in and out of traditional school settings.