Department of Biological Sciences

BS in Biology - Secondary Teacher Education

The Department of Biological Sciences offers a B.S. in Biology - Secondary Teacher Education Track at the undergraduate level for prospective teachers. This track is offered in partnership with the School of Education and Human Development and is designed to provide prospective teachers with a strong academic foundation in Biological Sciences.

Because this B.S. in Biology - Secondary Teacher Education concentration is a joint program between the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Science, Technology, and Health and the USM Teacher Education program within the School of Education and Human Development, there are requirements from both colleges that must be met as well as the university Core Curriculum requirements. Many of these requirements overlap so that the overall credit requirement for this concentration is 115 minimum, depending on any readiness requirements that must be met in the first year, and the specific 200 level or above Biology courses taken. If possible, students should consider taking education elective courses that will support them to become better teachers including, but not limited to, topics such as literacy, technology, understanding and collaborating with families.

USM Core Curriculum (including pre-internship education courses)

  • EYE 108 Culture, Identity and Education (recommended) (3 cr)
  • EDU 100 Exploring Teaching as a Profession (required) (3 cr)
  • College Writing - ENG 100 (3 cr)
  • Cultural Interpretation (3 cr)
  • Quantitative Reasoning - MAT 152 Calculus A (4 cr)
  • Creative Expression - (THE 102 Acting for Non-majors or THE 170 Public Speaking recommended) (3 cr)
  • Socio-Cultural Analysis - HRD 200 Multicultural Human Development (required) (3 cr)
  • Science Exploration - BIO 107 Biological Principles II: Evolution, Biodiversity, and Ecology (4.5 cr)
  • Ethical Inquiry, Social Responsibility, and Citizenship - EDU 310 Purpose of Schooling in a Democracy  (recommended) (3 cr)
  • Thematic Cluster - EDU 305 Foundations of Cultural and Linguistic Diversity (required), SED 335 Students with Exceptionalities in General Education (required), and SED 420 Multi-tiered Systems of Educational Support (required) (9 cr)
  • Diversity and International met with EDU 305 and EDU 310, respectively

Major Requirements

A grade of C- or higher is required for all courses listed below.

All of the following are required:
     BIO 105, 106 Biological Principles I: Cellular Biology and Laboratory
     BIO 107 Biological Principles II: Evolution, Biodiversity, and Ecology
     BIO 109 Biological Principles III: Functional Biology
     BIO 201 Genetics
     BIO 203 Ecology
     BIO 217 Evolution

One lecture/laboratory combination from each of the following three areas:

AREA 1: Organismal Biology
     BIO 205 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
     BIO 231 Botany
     BIO 291 Ornithology
     BIO 335 Entomology
     BIO 351 Invertebrate Zoology
     BIO 353 Vertebrate Zoology
     BIO 361, 362 Parasitology and Laboratory
     BIO 405, 406 Animal Behavior and Laboratory

AREA 2: Ecology
     BIO 337 Marine Ecology
     BIO 383 Plant Ecology
     BIO 415, 416 Microbial Ecology and Laboratory
     ESP 341 Limnology
     ESP 412 Field Ecosystem Ecology

AREA 3: Cellular and Functional Biology
     BIO 305, 306 Developmental Biology and Laboratory
     BIO 311, 282 Microbiology and Laboratory
     BIO 321, 322 Neurobiology and Laboratory
     BIO 401, 402 Animal Physiology and Laboratory
     BIO 409, 410 Cell and Molecular Biology and Laboratory

In addition to BIO 105, 106, 107, 109, 201, 203, 217, and one lecture/laboratory course from each of the three stipulated areas, biology majors are required to take either two additional biology lecture courses or one biology lecture/laboratory course, with prefix numbers of 200 or above.

The biology major must also satisfactorily complete all of the following:

Chemistry (14 credit hours)
     CHY 113, 114, 115, 116 Principles of Chemistry I and II and Laboratory
     CHY 251, 252 Organic Chemistry I and Laboratory

Physics (10 credit hours)
     PHY 111, 114, 112, 116 Elements of Physics I and II and Laboratory
       or PHY 121, 114, 123, 116 General Physics I and II and Laboratory

Mathematics (8 credit hours)
     MAT 152 Calculus A
     MAT 220 Statistics for the Biological Sciences

In addition, students must fulfill the University Core curriculum requirements, including a Capstone course in the major.

In addition to meeting all major and CORE requirements, the following teacher education requirements must be met.

The Secondary Teacher Education Program is designed to prepare early middle and high school teachers, grades 7-12 or K-12 foreign language teachers who are knowledgeable of the content they will teach and who have the skills to apply that knowledge to teaching. Secondary education students major in the discipline they plan to teach, take a series of teacher education courses that satisfy their University Core Curriculum requirements, and fulfill the requirements for teacher certification in their discipline. These courses introduce students to aspects of teaching and learning and give them hands-on experiences in community agencies and schools where they can connect what they are learning to the real world. At the time of degree completion, students will have met the degree requirements for a major and for initial teacher certification.

Program Declaration and Withdrawal

All students must formally declare their entry into a teacher education program by completing the Declaration and/or Dropping of Undergraduate Teacher Education Pathway Form through the registrar’s office. The form is located in the forms section of the Office of Registration and Scheduling Services: https://usm.maine.edu/registration-services/1forms

Academic Requirements

The minimum academic requirements to be a student in good standing in the secondary education program are as follows:

  • A grade of B or better in all professional education coursework.
  • A grade of C or better in content courses required for the area of teacher certification.
  • An overall GPA of 3.0 or better.

Failure to maintain the above requirements may result in program dismissal. Appeals may be made in writing to the Director of Educator Preparation, Susan Inman, susan.inman@maine.edu.

Pre-Candidacy

Upon declaring the secondary teacher education program, a student becomes a pre-candidate. The pre-candidacy phase of the program is the first three years of the program prior to the professional internship. Pre-candidacy coursework is as follows:

Recommended

  • ADS 300 Ethics and Youth with Exceptionalities (3 cr)
  • EDU 310 Purpose of Schooling in a Democracy* (3 cr)
  • EYE 108 Culture, Identity and Education (3 cr)

Required

  • EDU 100 Exploring Teaching* (3 cr)
  • EDU 222 Foundations of Language and Literacy Development* (3 cr)
  • EDU 305 Foundations of Cultural and Linguistic Diversity* (3 cr)
  • HRD/SBS 200 Multicultural Human Development (3 cr)
  • SED 335 Students with Exceptionalities in General Education* (3 cr)

Each of the courses with a * includes required service learning or practicum hours in a partner school or community setting to give students hands-on, real world experience. These experiences are arranged by the Field Experience Coordinator in the Office of Educator Preparation. The other education courses may require observation experiences in field settings that students arrange on their own.

Candidacy

In order to be eligible to take the content methods course and enroll in internship, students must successfully complete the candidacy process. Candidacy takes place in the spring semester of the third year or when a student has completed the pre-candidacy teacher education coursework and has made satisfactory and sufficient progress in their major. It is the process students go through in order to be admitted to the professional level courses and internship. To be eligible for candidacy, students must be in good academic standing, have passed the Praxis Core, and provided evidence of their Criminal History Record Check.

Please see USM’s Professional Licensure and Certification Notice located on the Office of Registration and Scheduling website: https://usm.maine.edu/registration-services/academic-policies-undergraduate

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 complete the Candidacy application in TK20 and provide a current resume and three letters of recommendation from a field experience host teacher, from a professor in the student’s major, and from an education professor. The candidacy application is due on January 31 of each year. Upon review eligible students will be invited to participate in a 30 minute internship admission interview.

Professional Internship

The professional internship is a full year experience that fulfills the state’s student teaching requirement and provides secondary education teacher candidates the opportunity to apply what they are learning in their teacher education courses. The first semester internship is the equivalent of a 2.5 day per week in a partner school district, and the second semester internship is a full time, five days per week experience in a partner school. Students take the internship courses concurrently.

Required:

  • EDU 414 Improving Teaching in Content Areas Through Literacy for All Students Including Those with Diverse Abilities and Backgrounds
  • EDU 442 Seminar in Teaching, Learning, and Assessment
  • EDU 445 Student Teaching (9 cr total -- 3 credits first semester and 6 credits second semester)
  • SED 420 Multi-Tiered Systems of Educational Support (3 cr)
  • Content Area Methods Course - one of the following: (3 cr)
    • EDU 401 Secondary Science Methods
    • EDU 402 Secondary English Methods
    • EDU 403 Foreign Language Methods
    • EDU 404 Secondary Social Studies Methods
    • MME 434 Secondary Mathematics Methods

Content Requirements

Secondary teacher education students (grades 7-12) need a minimum of twenty-four credit hours in the content areas they plan to teach. For those interested in teaching at the middle level, it is recommended that they complete coursework in a second content area (i.e., English, mathematics, social studies or science) to become highly qualified to teach an additional content area. Finally, students should consider taking education courses that will support them to become better teachers including, but not limited to, topics such as literacy and technology.

TK20

All undergraduate and graduate students who matriculate into an Educator Preparation program at USM and are accepted as a candidate for their internship year are required to subscribe to Tk20 (Watermark), a comprehensive web-based, assessment management and reporting system. Students use Tk20 (Watermark) to provide evidence they have mastered state and professional standards for their profession. The subscription fee of $103 covers some of the expenses related to the administration and assessment of the program.  For loan purposes, TK20 (Watermark) is eligible for consideration as part of educational costs.  The subscription is a one-time 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 at http://usm.maine.edu/educator-preparation.

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).

Recommendation for Certification

Graduates who successfully complete all the secondary teacher education program requirements are eligible for recommendation for teacher certification in Maine. In order to be recommended for certification, students must complete the Recommendation for Certification form. Students who fail to meet the academic or professional teacher education program requirements or choose not to pursue teacher certification may withdraw from the teacher education pathway and graduate with their major.

NOTE: Course requirements are subject to change based upon changes in teacher certification regulations. For more information, visit: https://usm.maine.edu/teacher-education