College of Science, Technology, and Health

BA in Self-Designed Major - Elementary Teacher Education

The undergraduate Self-Designed Contract Major is designed to prepare those seeking elementary and middle school (K–8) certification in Maine with a strong foundation in mathematics and science and essential knowledge in integrating the disciplines through modeling, engineering, research, and technology. The overarching goal of the program is to prepare pre-service teachers with a deep understanding of the Common Core Mathematics and Next Generation Science Standards. Coursework models best teaching practices, emphasizes using reading and writing across the STEM curriculum, and focuses on hands-on, problem-based learning. Interested students should see the STEM education coordinator upon acceptance at USM, matriculation, upon choosing this major, or as early in their time at USM as possible. The Concentration in Elementary Education offers a continuous focus on both the theory and practice of teaching through a sequence of pre-internship education courses and field experiences.

Students completing the degree will have satisfied the USM Core Curriculum, the STEM Education Major, and Elementary Education Concentration, as well as liberal arts courses required for initial K-8 teacher certification. Graduates who complete the degree are eligible for recommendation for K-8 teacher certification in Maine. A minimum of 66.5 credits are required for the STEM Education major (note: additional credits are required for the Elementary Education Concentration and liberal arts courses required for initial K-8 teacher certification in Maine) and USM requires 120 credits total for graduation.

USM Core Courses (including pre-internship education courses that are required for the Concentration in Elementary Education; 24 additional credits above those required by the major)

  • Entry Year Experience – EYE 112 Built Environment: Energy (This course is recommended for this track of the Elementary Education Concentration; 3 cr.)
  • College Writing (ENG 100 College Writing is recommended; 3 cr.)
  • Quantitative Reasoning – MAT 120 Introduction to Statistics (This course is a requirement for the major; 4 cr.)
  • Socio-Cultural Analysis – HRD 200: Multicultural Human Development (This course is a requirement for the Elementary Education Concentration; 3 cr.)
  • Science Exploration – This requirement is fulfilled by several courses that are required for the major.
  • Cultural Interpretation – (ENG 140 or ENG 145 are recommended; 3 cr.)
  • Creative Expression – EDU 230 Teaching through the Arts (This course is recommended for this track of the Elementary Education Concentration; 3 cr.)
  • Ethical Inquiry, Social Responsibility, and Citizenship: EDU 310 What is the Purpose of Education in a Democracy? (Requirement for the Elementary Education Concentration and the International core requirement; 3 cr.)
  • Diversity: EDU 305 Foundations of Cultural and Linguistic Diversity (This course also serves as the first course in the cluster; 3 cr.)
  • Education in a Democratic Society Cluster – Additional required courses are SED 335 - Students with Exceptionalities in General Education and SED 420 Multi-Tiered Systems of Educational Support

Major Coursework (Total credits required for the major is 66.5-69)

Mathematics Content (24 credits)

  • MAT 108 College Algebra (4 cr.)
  • MAT 120 Introduction to Statistics (4 cr.)
  • MAT 131 Number Systems for Elementary Teachers (3 cr.)
  • MAT 231 Algebra for Elementary Teachers (3 cr.)
  • MAT 232 Geometry for Elementary Teachers (3 cr.)
  • MAT 152 Calculus A (4 cr.)
  • MAT 242 Applied Problem Solving (3 cr.)

Science Content (27.5-30 credits)                                                           

  • ESP 101 and ESP 102 Fundamentals of Environmental Science and Lab (4 cr.) 
  • STH 112 Physical and Earth/Space Science for K-8 Teachers (4 cr.)
  • CHY 113 and CHY 114 Principles of Chemistry I and Lab (4.5 cr.) 
  • PHY 111 and PHY 114 Elements of Physics I and Lab (5 cr.)
  • BIO 105 and 106 Biological Principles I: Cellular Biology and Lab (4.5 cr.) or ESP 125 and ESP 126 Introduction to Environmental Ecology and Lab (4 cr.)                
  • Two of the following upper-level science courses: ESP 207 Atmosphere: Science, Climate, and Change; ESP 260 Soil and Water Conservation Engineering; ESP 275 Energy Use and Societal Adaptation; ESP 280 Research and Analytical Methods; ESP 303 Wetlands Ecology; ESP 412 Field Ecosystem Ecology; or ESP 413 Forestry Ecology (3 or 4 cr.)

Elementary Teacher Education (K-8) Requirements

All requirements for the Elementary Teacher Education program, including academic requirements, education courses, content requirements, the professional internship year, and declaration and candidacy can be found here.

Electives:

Students must complete elective credit to complete the 120 credit hour degree. For those seeking elementary certification, the Core Curriculum allows students to meet the minimum requirements for distributed credits across the liberal arts (i.e., all students must have at least 6 credits in English, math, science, and social studies). The following courses are also recommended: 

Social Studies (6 cr.) HTY 101 or HTY 102 and HTY 122 or HTY 123