Department of Geosciences

Concentration in Secondary Education Earth Sciences

This concentration is for students who want to become certified to teach 7-12 earth sciences in Maine. Interested students should talk with their advisors upon acceptance to USM, matriculation, upon choosing a geosciences major, or as early in their time at USM as possible. The curriculum for this concentration is designed to provide prospective 7-12 teachers a strong academic foundation in earth sciences along with a continuous focus on both the theory and practice of teaching through a sequence of pre-internship education courses and field experiences. It has four components: USM Core curriculum, Geosciences major, professional education courses, and electives totaling 120 credit hours for the degree.

USM Core Curriculum (including pre-internship education courses):

  • EYE 108 Culture, Identity, and Education (recommended), (3 cr.)
  • EDU 100 Exploring Teaching (recommended), (3 cr.)
  • College Writing- ENG 100 College Writing (3 cr.)
  • Cultural Interpretation (3 cr.)
  • Quantitative- (covered by Geosciences degree req.), (3 or 4 cr.)
  • Creative Expression (3 cr.)
  • Socio-Cultural Analysis- HRD 200 Multicultural Human Growth & Development (3 cr.)
  • Science Exploration (covered by Geosciences degree req.), (4 cr.)
  • Ethical Inquiry, Social Responsibility, and Citizenship- EDU 310 Purpose of Schooling in a Democracy (this course also fulfills the core International requirement) (3 cr.)
  • Cluster- EDU 305 Foundations of Cultural and Linguistic Diversity (this course also fulfills the core Diversity requirement), SED 335 Students with Exceptionalities in General Education, and SED 420 Multi-Tiered Systems of Educational Support (9 cr.)

Special Major Requirements:

Geosciences B.A. or B.S. major (see major degree requirements)

Professional Education Internship Year Requirements:

  • EDU 501 Secondary Science Methods (3 cr.)
  • STEM Seminar in Teaching and Learning I (3 cr.)
  • STEM Seminar in Teaching and Learning II (3 cr.)
  • Internship in Secondary Education (9 cr.)

Electives:

Students must complete elective credit to complete the 120 credit hour degree. For those students interested in teaching at the middle level (grades 7 or 8), it is recommended that they complete coursework in a second content area (e.g. English, social studies, math, life or physical science) to become highly qualified to teach an additional content area. Those students interested in teaching high school may want to use their elective credits to bolster their content knowledge by taking additional courses in their major discipline and related fields. Finally, students should consider taking education courses that will support them to become better teachers including, but not limited to, topics such as literacy, technology, understanding and collaborating with families.

Tk20 Subscription:

All undergraduate and graduate students who matriculate into an Educator Preparation program or pathway in USM summer 2013 or later are required to subscribe to the Tk20 online data management system. The subscription allows students to use the system for assessment, advisement, field-experience and career portfolio management. The subscription fee of $103 covers some of the expenses related to the administration and assessment of the program. For loan purposes, it will be eligible for consideration as part of costs. The subscription is a one-time payment and must be made by each student during the first semester of program or pathway matriculation (check with individual programs and pathways for specific subscription timelines). Subscription instructions are posted on the Office of Educator Preparation web site: http://usm.maine.edu/educatorpreparation 

Please note Professional Education Council Policy:  In order for USM’s Education Preparation Unit program completers to be recommended by the institution to the state for certification or licensure, the candidate must provide evidence of meeting all certification requirements including proficiency on the standards relevant to his/her state approved professional program and this evidence must be compiled and assessed within the context of the Unit’s data management system (i.e., Tk20). 

Other Requirements:

Students must maintain a high level of academic achievement. Minimum academic requirements are as follows:

A grade of C or better in all University Core and major coursework.

A grade of B or better in all professional education coursework.

An overall GPA of 3.00 or better.

Prior to admission to the professional internship year, students must pass the Praxis II exam 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.