Prospective Student FAQs
- What makes a strong candidate for ETEP?
- Are there any courses that are prerequisites for admission to ETEP?
- What Praxis test do I take?
- How difficult is the Praxis Core test?
- Can I get certified without going through university teacher education program like ETEP?
Program Costs & Funding
- How much does ETEP cost?
- Is financial aid available?
- Can I have a graduate assistantship while I'm in ETEP?
- Can I work while I'm in ETEP?
Registration & Course Plans
- How do I register for classes?
- Can I take classes for ETEP ahead of time?
- What if I have missing course work?
- What is the typical internship and class schedule for 9-month ETEP?
- In what geographic areas are placements made?
- Will USM help me get a job?
- What is the job market like for certified teachers?
- How much can a beginning teacher expect to be paid in Maine?
What makes a strong candidate for ETEP?
We seek candidates who demonstrate the characteristics of self-knowledge, maturity, sensitivity to others and the ability to adapt to, and learn from, new and challenging situations. Strong candidates to ETEP are also academically strong students. They demonstrate this strength through their performance during the completion of an undergraduate degree in an appropriate academic discipline, by successfully passing Praxis Core, and by demonstrating strong written and oral communication skills in the application process. Lastly, strong ETEP candidates have prior experiences working with children in instructional situations where they have developed a learning-centered educational philosophy.
Are there any courses that are prerequisites for admission to ETEP?
Yes, there are. ETEP is a teacher certification program that provides the professional course work needed to be well prepared for the first year of teaching. ETEP does not include content courses in the liberal arts that are required for teacher certification. Those courses are prerequisites to the program.
The best way to find out where you stand in terms of the pre-requisite coursework required for teacher certification is to refer to the following link for information regarding transcript self-analysis.
What Praxis test do I take?
ETEP candidates should take the Praxis Core before applying to ETEP. The Praxis I has been phased out by the Educational Testing Service and will not be offered after August 31, 2014. If you have already taken and passed Praxis I, your scores will be accepted by the Maine Department of Education for certification purposes until 8/31/18*.
The computer-based version of the test is offered at most Prometrics Centers (a.k.a.Sylvan Learning Center) throughout the U.S. Locally, South Portland has a site. You can register for the test by going to www.ets.org/praxis/register. The dates that the test is offered should also be posted on the website.
*Special Note: If a candidate has already taken and passed the Praxis I, USM and the Maine Department of Education will accept the results of this test until August 31, 2018.
How difficult is the Praxis Core test?
The Praxis Core includes three timed subtests: reading comprehension, writing and math. The writing component includes multiple choice grammar questions as well as two written essays (one argumentative and one informative/explanatory). The math section includes basic numeracy, fractions, decimals, percents, word problems, basic geometry and algebra. Higher level math is not included. There are some constructed response answers required, not just the usual multiple choice. The Praxis Core is similar to SAT tests taken for college admissions. It is a basic knowledge test developed by the Educational Testing Service (ETS).
There are several books available to help a prospective student prepare for the Praxis Core exam. Various publishers create such books which are available through most chain bookstores. Also, the ETS offers e-books online through their website: www.ets.org/praxis
Can I get certified without going through a university teacher education program like ETEP?
Yes, the state of Maine offers alternative certification pathway which does not require completing a state approved program such as ETEP. Unfortunately, such a route provides neither the high level of professional preparation that ETEP offers nor an equal level of competitiveness for obtaining a teaching position. Finding a job, if certified through the alternative route with a "conditional" certification, can often be difficult and frustrating. However, if you are unable to join ETEP and would like to be advised about the alternative pathway, please contact the Maine Department of Education (207-624-6603).
Program Costs & Funding
How much does ETEP cost?
The in-state tuition rate for 2016-2017 is $380 per credit. There are also fees for such items as parking, health services, courses, and enrollment. These can add up to $625 or more per semester. So, ETEP costs about $13,790 for the 33 credits whether one opts for the 9-month or 2-year option. You also need to consider transportation, daycare (if applicable), and book costs, etc. Visit the USM Student Financial Services webpage to see the most up-to-date costs for tuition and fees.
Is financial aid available?
Yes! At the graduate level, part-time (at least six credits per semester) to full-time students are eligible for loans and scholarships. There are many scholarships available both within the University and within the State of Maine for those who pursue teaching. And, some loans may be forgivable for those who teach in a shortage subject area or a low income school. Once a year, USM hosts a financial aid night for ETEP applicants in early December that can help you plan your academic finances for the year. For more information on scholarships visit http://usm.maine.edu/sehd. For more information about financial aid at USM visit http://www.usm.maine.edu/fin
Can I have a graduate assistantship while I'm in ETEP?
For those students in the 2-year option, it may be possible to work as a graduate assistant. A typical graduate assistant position is ten hours per week. You receive a monthly stipend and a possible tuition waiver. For more information visit: http://usm.maine.edu/sehd/financial-aid.
Can I work while I'm in ETEP?
The only option in which a job is possible is the 2-year one. The 2-year option is compatible with an ed. tech. position. If the job is non-education related, then the work schedule needs to be part-time and flexible enough to accommodate an internship. The 9-month option is an intensive, full-time one, and there is little or no time for outside work.
Registration & Course Plans
How do I register for classes?
Since all ETEP class numbers are not disclosed to the general public, you will not find them by doing a regular "Class Search" in MaineStreet. You will, however, be notified by the Teacher Education Program at registration time about which classes to register for. You then go to MaineStreet and your "Student Services Center" to register. If you have difficulty registering, please contact Karyn Demmons, Administrative Specialist for the Teacher Education Program, either by phone at 780-5456 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I take classes for ETEP ahead of time?
Generally, this is discouraged. All options in ETEP are self-contained and mandate a certain number of credits. Moreover, coursework is closely connected to the internship and seminar and is taken with a specific cohort. If a student has a recent course that is equivalent of SED 540 (Exceptionality) - which is the only course that could be transferred in to USM, the student needs to choose another course in its place, in consultation with a faculty advisor. Therefore, it is not in your best interest to take any courses ahead of time.
What if I have missing course work?
There are two ways to fulfill any gaps in what you need for pre-requisites: either course work or CLEP testing. You can take a course at any four-year accredited college or university. You can also take your missing course(s) at a community college as a long as that course would transfer to a four-year institution. Additionally, you can attain college credit by taking and passing a College Level Entrance Program (CLEP) test. These tests are standard and given at most college testing centers including USM. They cost at USM is $80 per test plus a $50 proctoring fee. It’s a good idea to make sure you have the prior knowledge before attempting the test, however. The website for CLEP at USM is http://usm.maine.edu/pla/pla-CLEP-exams. The maximum number of CLEP credits one can use for certification purposes is 6. Please request your score to be posted to your USM transcript at the time of testing if you are a USM student.
What is the typical internship and class schedule for 9-month ETEP?
First semester, interns are in their classrooms five days a week in the morning and two full days. On two to four other afternoons, interns have courses located at the University or at a partner school. Second semester interns are expected to be in their internship full time, five days a week. They also have 2 or 3 courses in the early evenings (4-7).
In what geographic areas are placements made?
The ETEP program has a long history of working in partnership with southern Maine school districts to prepare teachers. Currently, the ETEP program works in close partnership with six school districts located within or in close proximity to the communities where the University’s campuses are located.
The Urban Cohort is a partnership amongst USM, Lewiston School Department, Portland Public Schools, South Portland School Department, and Westbrook School Department. Our suburban cohorts are partnerships with the Gorham School Department and RSU #14-Windham-Raymond Schools. Each of these teacher education cohorts are co-coordinated by USM faculty and district personnel and interns place there participate in district based seminars.
Additionally, ETEP partners with the Baxter Academy to place interns interested in a charter school setting or who are preparing to be math and science teachers. The Brunswick and Wells school districts partner with ETEP to place interns who live at a greater distance from the University, and MSAD#6 partners with us to place interns who are in the two year ETEP pathway. Ed Techs who are in the two year pathway may complete their internships in the districts where they are employed.
Will USM help me get a job?
USM does not do job placement. Each spring ETEP holds an information session on applying for a teaching position in the K-12 schools. We invite local superintendents and principals to come to talk with you about what they are looking for in a teacher candidate. For more information on teaching jobs available in Maine visit: www.servingschools.com
What is the job market like for certified teachers?
The job opportunities depend on individual districts, disciplines, time of year, and certification area. In general, if an individual is a "certified" "highly qualified teacher," he or she is in a stronger position than all others. Non-certified, non-highly qualified teachers have a difficult time being considered in most disciplines. Individual profiles can be found on the Maine Department of Labor: http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/
The following areas have been determined to be high teacher shortage areas and as such preference is given to applicants in these areas and their employment opportunities are very strong: Physical Science, Mathematics, English as a Second Language (ESL), Gifted/Talented, School Librarian, Industrial Arts.