Professional Development Center

Summer 2019 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.

Aerial photo of USM Portland campus in summer

Many 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


PDS 535 Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age - CANCELLED (check back next summer)

Teachers will explore the use of online tools that support student learning, collaboration, and communication that extends beyond classroom walls. They will also learn about curricular best practices and skills as they fit into the K-12 classroom. This course may be repeated for credit up to three times (for a maximum of nine total credits earned).

June 26-28 & July 1-2, 8:00-4:00; Alice Barr, instructor; USM Portland campus

*This course is offered as a 3-credit graduate course, but it is also available in a modified format for CEUs. This is a more cost-effective option for tight budgets - $600 for 3.5 CEUs.

PDS 513 Integrating Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction & Social Emotional Intelligence in the Classroom - Registration form (PDF)

Students will develop Mindfulness skills to integrate into the school setting for themselves and for their students. The emphasis is on integrating Mindfulness into the classroom through modeling to help develop emotional and social skills.

July 8-12, 8:30-4:30; Nancy Hathaway, instructor; USM Portland campus

**PDS 540 Executive Skills: Practical Strategies for Assessment and Intervention - Registration form (PDF)

This course will provide an introduction to executive skills, beginning with what they are, how they develop across childhood, and how they impact school performance in profound ways. From there, the discussion will move to meaningful assessments and strategies educators can use to promote executive skill development in struggling learners.

August 8-9 & August 12-14, 8:00-4:00; Peg Dawson, instructor; USM Portland campus

**This course is offered as a 3-credit graduate course, but it is also available in a modified format for CEUs. This is a more cost-effective option for tight budgets - $600 for 3.5 CEUs. Register at this link or contact the PDC. See also this CEU course information sheet (PDF) for more information.

PDS 514 Integrating Mindfulness-based Compassionate Communication into Education - Registration form (PDF)

Having a foundation in mindfulness knowledge, study, practice, and skills, the student will have the essential beginnings to study and practice this language which has as its core empathy for oneself and others and one's experience rather than from evaluation, blame, advice, judgments. This language is conducive to use in all aspects of education as it gives language to respect, non-judgment, compassion for self and others whether students, colleagues, school staff, and parents.

August 12-16, 8:30-4:30; Nancy Hathaway, instructor; USM Portland campus

Prerequisites: Previous 3 credit or week long Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction course (UMA/USM/UM) or Instructor permission. 

AED 599 (class #62899) / MUE 595 (class #62349) Creative Pedagogies and Assessment for Art & Music K-8

Flyer (PDF)

This course will examine arts-based teaching, teaching for creativity, and inclusive learning practices as key components of artistic pedagogy and meaningful assessment in art and music. Students’ creative learning will be addressed through a series of hands-on projects which will feature artistic and transmodal approaches to assessment.

July 8-12, 9:00-4:30; Kelly Hrenko & Michele Kaschub, instructors; USM Gorham campus

FMI, contact Kelly Hrenko at

AED 599 (class #62898) Art, Equity, & Education

Flyer (PDF)

This course will introduce students to theory and practice in the field of art education relating to the topics of equity and cultural diversity, especially as it connects to art education, contemporary art practice, and research. Students will be encouraged to explore their personal understandings about cultural diversity in art education and will be assisted in developing socially-just art teaching strategies for the classroom and/or community arts contexts. The following interconnected topics will be explored, including but not limited to; culturally relevant/responsive teaching, visual culture, social justice, conceptions of culture, equity in education, and cultural diversity in contemporary art.

July 8-August 2; ONLINE; Rachel Somerville, instructor

FMI, contact Kelly Hrenko at

Cohort Courses

Contact the PDC if you would like to register for any of these courses. Non-cohort students are registered as space allows.

EDU 521 Digital Literacies and Education

In this course, students explore the use of technology in K-12 education with a focus on literacy in the 21st century. Learners gain insight and experience in the effective integration of technology in literacy education through experiential learning, discussion, readings, and design of lessons and activities. Students examine related educational and societal issues through both academic and mainstream lenses in the context of relevant standards.

Class notes: This online course section is primarily for students in the Oxford Hills literacy cohort, but there is some room for non-cohort students. Email the PDC for permission to register.

EDU 563 ESL Testing and Assessment

The focus of this course is on learner-centered approaches to constructive evaluation of language and content. Emphasis is predominantly on authentic, performance-based assessment practices but also include the role of criterion-and norm-based formal testing procedures within a holistic evaluation framework. Comprehensive evaluation of language involves the whole learner, including an integrated approach incorporating socio-cultural, academic, and cognitive perspectives. Also included is an understanding of biases influencing formalized second language testing.

Class notes: Class is primarily for students in the Portland/Westbrook ESL cohort. Email the PDC for permission to register.

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 in Scarborough and is primarily for students in the LTS cohort. Email the PDC for permission to register.