Department of Environmental Science and Policy

BS in Environmental Science with a 7-12 Teacher Certification Track

This track is for students who want to become certified to teach grades 7-12 physical sciences, life science, or dual in Maine. Interested students should see the secondary education environmental science coordinator upon acceptance at USM, matriculation, upon choosing an environmental science 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 physical sciences and/or life science 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, an environmental science major, professional education courses, and electives totaling 120 credit hours for the degree.

Requirements:

All students must formally declare their entry into a teacher certification concentration by completing the declaration procedures found on the Office of Educator Preparation web site at http://usm.maine.edu/educatorpreparation. Passing Praxis Core scores, creation of a free Tk20 account and declaration application, and two recommendation forms are necessary to complete the declaration process.

All undergraduate and graduate students who matriculate into an Educator Preparation program or pathway in USM summer 2013 or later and are accepted as a candidate for their internship year are required to subscribe to the Tk20 online data management system once being accepted as a teacher education candidate and prior to their internship year. The subscription allows students to use the system for assessment, advisement, fieldexperience, 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 onetime payment and must be made by each student after they have passed their candidacy process and before the first semester of their internship year. Subscription instructions are posted on the Office of Educator Preparation website: http://usm.maine.edu/educatorpreparation

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

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 (3 cr.)
  • Cultural Interpretation (3 cr.)
  • Quantitative Reasoning - MAT 152 Calculus A (4 cr.)
  • Creative Expression (3 cr.)
  • Socio-Cultural Analysis - HRD 200 Multicultural Human Development (3 cr.)
  • Science Exploration - ESP 101/102 Fundamentals of Environmental Science w/lab (4 cr.)
  • Ethics - EDU 310 Purpose of Schooling in a Democracy (3 cr.)
  • Cluster - EDU 305 Foundations of Cultural and Linguistic Diversity, SED 335 Students with Exceptionalities in General Education, and SED 420 Multi-tiered Systems of Educational Support (9 cr.)
  • Diversity and International met with EDU 305 and EDU 310 respectively

Major Requirements:

Students complete the major requirements for a BS in Environmental Science. The ESP 400 internship requirement may be met by an EDU internship in secondary education. Similarly the ESP 401 capstone requirement may be met by a STEM or EDU capstone.

Professional Education Internship Requirements: 

  • EDU 401 Teaching Science in Grades 7-12 (3 cr.)
  • EDU 441 Seminar in Teaching, Learning, and Assessment I (3 cr.)
  • EDU 442 Seminar in Teaching, Learning, and Assessment 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, 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 topics such as literacy, technology, understanding and collaborating with families.

Students work with advisors on course sequences. These sequences are influenced by choice of life science, physical science or dual certification.