Extended Teacher Education Program (ETEP)

Frequently Asked Questions

Students in a classroom.The Extended Teacher Education Program (ETEP) at the University of Southern Maine (USM) is a nationally accredited and state-approved teacher preparation program that leads to teacher certification and a master’s degree.

If you don’t see an answer to your question below, please contact our Academic Advisor.

About the Extended Teacher Education Program (ETEP)

What are the qualities of a strong applicant?

  • Academic strength — Applicants demonstrate this through:
    • Performance during the completion of an undergraduate degree in an appropriate academic discipline.
    • Passing scores on the Praxis Core Test.
    • Strong written and oral communication skills demonstrated through the application and interview process.
  • Prior experiences working with children and/or adolescents — In instructional situations where they have developed a learning-centered educational philosophy.
  • Leadership qualities — such as:
    • Self-knowledge
    • Maturity
    • Sensitivity to others
    • The ability to adapt to, and learn from, new and challenging situations.

Are there any prerequisites for admission?

I want to teach middle school. Should I apply for the Elementary Teacher Education (K-8) or the Secondary Teacher Education (7-12) Certification Area?

  • Contact our Academic Advisor to discuss your preferences and options, and to have an unofficial transcript analysis completed. The transcript analysis will determine which certification area(s) you are best qualified for.

Is financial aid available?

  • Yes. Graduate students who meet enrollment requirements are eligible for loans and scholarships.

Learn more:

  • Costs and Financial Aid: Review information about our tuition, the FAFSA, and financial aid.
    • We're happy to announce, starting Fall 2022, out of state ETEP candidates will qualify for in-state tuition.
  • Scholarships: There are opportunities offered through the Office of Graduate Studies as well as specific opportunities for graduate students studying in the School of Education and Human Development. We encourage students to apply for both types of scholarships.
  • External Resources

Can I obtain a graduate assistantship while I'm enrolled?

Can I work while I'm enrolled?

  • 9-Month Pathway: During this time-intensive program, students do not have time to remain employed — neither on a full-time or a part-time basis.
  • 2-Year Pathway:
    • Students studying in the 2-Year Pathway generally have time to remain employed on a part-time basis.
    • Those employed as education technicians in their certification area may be able to maintain full-time employment for the first three semesters.
  • Read about Our Program Options to learn more about our pathways and schedules.

Can I take start completing courses before I enroll?

  • Generally, this is discouraged. Coursework is closely connected to the student-teaching internship, and one of our program benefits is the opportunity to progress through your courses along with your fellow cohort students.

What is the typical internship and class schedule?

Can I request where I will student teach?

  • Our strong partnerships with regional school districts offer our students the opportunity to gain experience in either urban and suburban school settings.
  • We work with our students to place them in school districts that align with their location and career goals.
  • Applicants who are invited to interview with ETEP faculty for admission to the program will have an opportunity to express their interest in particular school settings, although placement in a particular district cannot be guaranteed.
  • Learn more about the student-teaching internship.

When and where are courses held?

  • Courses are held on both our Gorham and Portland campuses in the afternoon and evening in the fall and after school in the spring, with some class meetings held online. Students enrolled in a particular certification area may also attend class meetings off campus.

Will the University help me to obtain employment?