Professional Development Center

Fall 2018 Courses

The Professional Development Center (PDC) is the inservice agent of the School of Education and Human Development (SEHD) of the University of Southern Maine. Its mission is to provide sustained, high-quality professional development that enables K-12 educators and human resource professionals to continue learning throughout their careers.

Most of the courses below are offered as part of our cohort plans (although usually open to any interested students as space allows). Contact us today to design a cohort for your district and:

  • work alongside your district / school colleagues toward a certificate or higher degree 
  • take courses by USM instructors at your own school sites 
  • tailor your USM experience to what the students in YOUR district need


EDU 626 The Writing Process

This course focuses on the study of writing development in children and how teachers can facilitate writing through a process approach. Many writing strategies for the classroom and the individual writer will be modeled and put into practice. In addition, students will investigate specific areas of interest to improve their own writing and writing instruction. Through participation in writing lessons and workshops, students will develop their own pieces of writing, examine the needs of diverse learners, design instruction for varying developmental stages of writers, explore the use of technology, and understand the implications of national, state, and local standards.

Class notes: Class is meeting in Oxford Hills (email the PDC for permission to attend)


EDU 679 Evaluation and Supervision of Teaching

This is an introductory course focused on evaluating and supervising teaching performance. As the teaching students may supervise ranges from preschool through adult education in a variety of subject areas, this course offers a framework of supervisory concepts and asks students to apply these concepts to the settings and clientele they would likely encounter. The major product of this course is a platform for articulating one's beliefs and espoused practices for evaluating and supervising teaching in a setting specified by the student.  

Class notes: Class is meeting at Noble Middle School (email the PDC for permission to attend)


PDS 501 Proficiency-Based Learning: Planning & Assessment I

Proficiency-Based Planning and Assessment is set up as a two-semester course, designed for the practicing teacher.  It begins with an exploration of current research-based, proficiency-driven practices in the field as a means for enrolled teachers to examine their own classroom practices.  Participants will consider the defining features of proficiency including, but not limited to, the distinction between habits of work and academic achievement, using backwards design to develop curriculum and assessment tools rooted in district standards, and developing daily practices that intentionally encourage students to take responsibility for their learning.

Class notes: Class is meeting in Cape Elizabeth (email the PDC for permission to attend)


PDS 555 Special Education Mentorship

PDS 555 is a semester-long two-part online course taken in conjunction with a yearlong supervised school- or agency-based mentorship for conditionally certified teachers participating in the Maine Alternative Certification and Mentoring program (MACM). Topics and activities for the course are determined by the MACM program. Participants enroll for the course each semester.

Class notes: This course is open to teachers in the Maine Alternative Certification and Mentoring (MACM) program ONLY. It is not for transitionally certified OR new conditionally certified teachers who are also enrolled in a pre-service or certificate program and are enrolled in an internship/student teaching semester. FMI, please contact Valerie Smith at or visit the MACM site:


SED 695 Internship in Teaching Students with Severe Disabilities

Interns complete a 15 week semester-long or part-time equivalent mentored internship in special education services for students with severe disabilities in accordance with the Maine Teacher Certification Standards. A successful review of all the teaching standards is required for a passing grade for internship. Pre-requisites: Open to matriculated candidates in the Teaching Students with Mild to Severe Disabilities program or by permission of the Special Education Program.

Class notes: This course is for educators at the Margaret Murphy Children's Center