Department of English

BA in English Teacher Education K-8 Certification Track

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)
  • Cluster:
    •      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)
Liberal Arts Courses

(Note: Through the Core Curriculum, liberal arts requirements, and the major, students meet at least the minimum credits in English, social studies, math, and science required for State certification at the elementary level.)

  • English- Through the major the students become highly qualified to teach middle level
  • Mathematics- MAT 131: Number Systems for Elementary Teachers and MAT 231: Algebra for Elementary Teachers or MAT 232: Geometry for Elementary Teachers (6 credits)
  • Science- Students must take one lab science in addition to Science Exploration in the core. (7 credits)
  • Social Studies- Students must take HTY 101 Western Civilization I or HTY 102 Western Civilization II and HTY 122 United States History 1800 to 1900 or HTY 123 United States History Since 1900 (6 credits)
English Major Course Requirements:
  • ENG 245: Introduction to Literary Studies (3 credits). This course is a preqequisite 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 and EDU 466 toward their elective requirements in the track.
Professional Education Internship Year Requirements (30 cr)
  • EDU 452: Teaching Science K-8 (3 cr)
  • MME 405: Teaching Mathematics K-8 (3 cr)
  • EDU 451: Teaching Social Studies K-8 (3 cr)
  • EDU 565: Teaching Reading in Grades K-8 (3 cr)
  • EDU 566: Teaching Writing in Grades K-8 (3 cr)
  • EDU 441: Seminar in Teaching and Learning I (3 cr)
  • EDU 442: Seminar in Teaching and Learning II (3 cr)
  • EDU 324: Student Teaching (9 cr)

Students must complete elective credit to complete the 120 credit hour degree. For those students interested in teaching at the middle level (grades 6-8), it is recommended that they complete coursework in a second content area (e.g., English, mathematics, life or physical 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.

Other Requirements:

Acceptance into the Bachelor of Arts in English with a K-8 teacher certification track is contingent upon admission to USM and successful completion of the University's writing and mathematics proficiency requirements. Other acceptance criteria include a minimum 3.0 GPA and experience working with children. No more than 60 credits can be transferred into the program.

Students must maintain a high level of academic achievement. Minimum academic requirements to remain in the program 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 3.0 or better.

All students must formally declare their entry into a teaacher certification concentration by completing the declaration procedures found on the Office of Educator Preparation website at 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 matriculated 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, 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 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

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:

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 certification.