College of Science, Technology, and Health

BA in Self-Designed Major with a Concentration In Elementary and Middle School STEM Education

The undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Self-Designed Contract Major for pre-service elementary and middle (K – 8) education teachers is designed to prepare those seeking elementary and middle school (K – 8) certification in Maine with a strong foundation in mathematics and science and essential knowledge in integrating the disciplines through modeling, engineering, research, and technology. The overarching goal of the program is to prepare the pre-service teachers with a deep understanding of the Common Core Mathematics and Next Generation Science Standards. The coursework models best teaching practices and emphasizes using reading and writing across the STEM curriculum and focuses on hands-on, problem-based learning. Interested students should see the STEM education coordinator upon acceptance at USM, matriculation, upon choosing this major, or as early in their time at USM as possible. Further concentration in Elementary Education offers a continuous focus on both the theory and practice of teaching through a sequence of pre-internship education courses and field experiences.

Students completing the degree will have satisfied the USM Core Curriculum, the STEM Education Major, and Elementary Education Concentration, as well as liberal arts courses required for initial K-8 teacher certification. Graduates who complete the degree are eligible for recommendation for K-8 teacher certification in Maine. A minimum of 77 credits are required for the STEM Education major (note: additional credits are required for the Elementary Education Concentration and liberal arts courses required for initial K-8 teacher certification in Maine) and USM requires 120 credits total for graduation.

USM Core Courses (including pre-internship education courses that are required for the Concentration in Elementary Education; 24 additional credits above those required by the major)

  • Early Year Experience – EYE 112 Built Environment: Energy (This is a required course for all students to complete the major even those who have already completed or are not required to take an EYE course.) – 3 credits
  • College Writing (ENG 100 College Writing is recommended.) – 3 credits
  • Quantitative Reasoning – MAT 120 Introduction to Statistics (This course is a requirement for the major.) – 4 credits
  • Socio-Cultural Analysis – HRD 200: Multicultural Growth and Development (This course is a requirement for the Elementary Education Concentration.) – 3 credits
  • Science Exploration – This is fulfilled by several courses that are required for the major.
  • Cultural Interpretation – (ENG 120 Introduction to Literature is recommended.) – 3 credits
  • Creative Expression – EDU 230 Teaching through the Arts (This course is recommended for this track of the Elementary Education Concentration.) – 3 credits
  • Ethical Inquiry, Social Responsibility, and Citizenship: EDU 310 What is the Purpose of Education in a Democracy? (Requirement for the Elementary Education Concentration and the International core requirement) – 3 credits
  • Diversity: EDU 305 Foundations of Cultural and Linguistic Diversity (This course also serves as the first course in the cluster.) – 3 credits
  • Education in a Democratic Society Cluster – Additional required courses are SED 335 - Students with Exceptionalities in General Education & SED 420 Multi-Tiered Systems of Educational Support
  • Capstone –SDM 405: Capstone in STEM Education: Engineering, Technology, and Mathematical and Scientific Modeling – 3 credits

Major Coursework (Total credits required for the major is 78 – 80)

Mathematics Content (24 credits)

  • MAT 108 College Algebra – 4 credits
  • MAT 120 Introduction to Statistics – 4 credits
  • MAT 131 Number Systems for Elementary School Teachers – 3 credits
  • MAT 231 Algebra for Elementary School Teachers – 3 credits
  • MAT 232 Geometry for Elementary School Teachers – 3 credits
  • MAT 152 Calculus A or MAT 220 Statistics for the Biological Sciences – 4 credits
  • MAT 242 Applied Problem Solving – 3 credits

Science Content (27-29 credits)                                                           

  • STH 111 Life Science & Ecology for K-8 Teachers – 4 credits 
  • STH 112 Physical & Earth/Space Science for K-8 Teachers – 4 credits
  • CHY 113 and CHY 114 Principles of Chemistry I and Lab – 4 credits 
  • PHY 111 and PHY 114K Elements of Physics I and Lab – 5 credits
  • ESP 125 and ESP 126 Introduction to Environmental Ecology and Lab – 4 credits                   
  • One of the following 200-level science courses: ESP 207/GEY 207 Atmosphere: Science, Climate, and Change; GEY 208 Environmental Geology; ESP 260 Soil/Water Conservation Engineering; or ESP 280 Research and Analytical Methods –  3 to 4 credits
  • One of the following 300 or 400-level science courses: ESP 303 Wetlands Ecology; GEY 205 Water Resources: Science and Issues; ESP 313 Renewal Energy; ESP 341 Limnology; ESP 412 Field Ecosystem Ecology; or ESP 413 Forestry Ecology – 3 or 4 credits

Engineering and Interdisciplinary STEM Content (6 credits)

  • EYE 112 Built Environment: Energy (This is a required course for all students to complete the major even those who have already completed or are not required to take an EYE course) – 3 credits
  • SDM 405: Capstone in STEM Education: Engineering, Technology, and Mathematical and Scientific Modeling – 3 credits

Mathematics and Science Content and Pedagogy (21 credits)

  • MME 400 Elementary Mathematics Methods – 3 credits
  • EDU 452 Teaching Science K-8  – 3 credits
  • MME 435 Professional Internship – 9 credits (Will be taken over 2 semesters)
  • MME 436 Teaching Seminar – 6 credits (Will be taken over 2 semesters)

Additional Professional Education Internship Year Requirements for Elementary Concentration/Certification (9 credits)

  • EDU 451 Teaching Social Studies K-8 (3 credits)
  • EDU 465 Teaching Reading K-8 (3 credits)
  • EDU 466 Teaching Writing Process K-8 (3 credits)

Electives:

Students must complete elective credit to complete the 120 credit hour degree. For those seeking elementary certification, the Core Curriculum allows students to meet the minimum requirements for distributed credits across the liberal arts (i.e., all students must have at least 6 credits in English, math, science, and social studies). The following courses are also recommended: 

Social Studies (6 credits) – HTY 101 Western Civilization I & HTY 123, United States History Since 1900

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.

Other Requirements:

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). 

For the purposes of field placements in schools during the educational cluster and internship year, students are required to complete and show documentation of the fingerprinting process outlined by the Maine Department of Education: http://www.maine.gov/doe/cert/fingerprinting/

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.

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