Department of English
BA in English - Elementary Teacher Education
This track of the English degree provides prospective K-8 teachers a strong academic foundation in English and a thorough interdisciplinary education in math, science, and history/social studies. The curriculum combines English courses in writing, literature, and literary theory with a sequence of pre-internship education courses and field experiences focusing on the theory and practice of teaching.
Students completing the 120-credit hour degree will have satisfied the USM Core Curriculum and the English Major as well as liberal arts courses required for initial K-8 teacher certification. Graduates are eligible for recommendation for K-8 teacher certification in Maine.
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 or ENG 101 (3 cr)
- Cultural Interpretation-ENG 140 (3 cr)
- Quantitative-MAT 120 (4 cr)
- Creative Expression (3 cr)
- Socio-Cultural Analysis- HRD/SBS 200: Multicultural Human Development (3 cr)
- Science Exploration (4 cr)
- Ethical Inquiry and Social Responsibility- EDU 310: Purpose of Schooling in a Democracy (recommended) (3 cr)
- EDU 305: Foundations of Cultural and Linguistic Diversity
- SED 335: Students with Exceptionalities in General Education
- SED 420: Multi-Tiered Systems of Educational Support (9 cr)
- Capstone–English major senior seminar (3 cr)
English Major Course Requirements:
- ENG 245: Introduction to Literary Studies (3 credits). This course is a prerequisite for the Capstone Seminar.
- ENG 220: World Masterpieces I (3 credits)
- At least one 300- or 400-level Theory course (3 credits)
- At least one 300- or 400-level Writing course (3 credits)
- Three 300- or 400-level historical period courses, one of which must be before 1800 (9 credits)
- Capstone Seminar (3 credits) A Capstone seminar is a small class (limited to approximately 15 students) designed to encourage independent thinking, intensive student participation, and in-depth research on topics of the student's choice related to the seminar topic. Typically seminars allow a professor to teach a focused subject of special interest, one on which the professor has done recent research or scholarly writing. Each semester, detailed descriptions of seminars will be published in the English Department's Course Guide. Seminars satisfy the General Education Capstone requirement. Though they may also fulfill requirements under other categories, seminars still count as only 3 credits toward the major requirements.
- Electives (12 credits or as needed to complete 36 hours in the major). Students may count EDU 465, EDU 466, EDU 565 or EDU 566 toward their elective requirements in the track.
Elementary Teacher Education (K-8) Requirements
In addition to meeting all major and CORE requirements the following teacher education requirements must be met.
The Elementary Teacher Education Program is designed to prepare elementary school teachers, grades K-8, who are knowledgeable of the content they will teach and who have the skills to apply that knowledge to teaching. Elementary education students major in the discipline they plan to teach and take a series of teacher education courses that fulfill their University Core Curriculum requirements and 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 with 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
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- email@example.com.
Upon declaring the elementary 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:
- 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)
- 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 school or community setting to give students hands-on, real world experience. Students complete these experiences in community and school partner settings and 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 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, a d 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.
The professional internship is a full year experience that fulfills the state’s student teaching requirement and provides elementary 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 courses are as follows:
- EDU 405: Teaching Mathematics K-8 (3 cr)
- EDU 442: Seminar in Teaching, Learning, and Assessment
- EDU 445: Student Teaching (9 cr total--3 credits first semester and 6 credits second semester)
- EDU 451: Teaching Social Studies K-8 (3 cr)
- EDU 452: Teaching Science K-8 (3 cr)
- EDU 465 Teaching Reading K-8 for All Students Including those with Diverse Abilities and Backgrounds
- EDU 466: Introduction to Writing Process for All Students Including those with Diverse Abilities and Backgrounds
- SED 420: Multi-Tiered Systems of Educational Support (3 cr)
For those students interested in teaching at the elementary level (grades K-8), they must complete 6 credits each in English, mathematics, science and social studies. The following mathematics courses are required:
- MAT 131
- MAT 231 or MAT 232
Those interested in teaching at the middle level (grades 6-8), 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, technology, understanding and collaborating with families.
In order to be eligible for internship, students must successfully complete the candidacy process. Students must apply for candidacy through TK20 by creating a free Tk20 account and completing a candidacy application. In addition to the above academic requirements, students must submit three letters of recommendation and passing scores on the Praxis Core and participate in candidacy interview.
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 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
Students who fail to meet any of the academic or professional requirements of this track of the major must withdraw from this track, though they may still complete all requirements for the B.A. in English without recommendation for teacher certification.
For the best overall Financial Aid package, submit your USM application and complete your FAFSA by January 15. However, you can apply at any time. Undergraduate applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.