School of Education and Human Development

Centers and Partnerships

The School of Education and Human Development plays a vital role in the communities we serve. These centers and partnerships enrich the work of our students and faculty by providing meaningful site work, professional networks, and stimulating learning environments. Additionally, the School of Education and Human Development conducts sponsored research in a number of areas. This research assists the work of faculty and students while providing critical information about the state of education and human resource development in Maine.

Center for Educational Policy, Applied Research, and Evaluation (CEPARE)

The Center for Education Policy, Applied Research, and Evaluation (CEPARE), in the School of Education and Human Development of the University of Southern Maine, provides assistance to school districts, agencies, organizations, and university faculty by conducting research, evaluation, and policy studies. In addition, CEPARE co-directs the Maine Education Policy Research Institute (MEPRI), an institute jointly funded by the Maine State Legislature and the University of Maine System. This institute was established to conduct studies on Maine education policy and the Maine public education system for the Maine Legislature.

English for Speakers of Other Languages

--Intensive English Language Program (IELP)
The Intensive English Language Program (IELP), located on the USM Portland campus, is designed to meet the English language needs of international students whose first language is not English and who wish to study at USM or other universities in the United States. The primary focus is to help students improve their skills in academic reading, writing, speaking and listening. The program also focuses on study skills and provides the cultural orientation necessary for success at the university level. Course work includes reading authentic materials, journal writing, essay writing, group work, interviews with native English speakers, pronunciation practice and TOEFL preparation. All IELP classes are taught by qualified faculty with at least a Master's Degree. Because all classes are small (10-15 students), each student receives individualized attention. All instruction is based on learning English through communicative teaching approaches and classes are highly interactive. 

--English Language Bridge Program (ELB)
The English Language Bridge (ELB) program is an academic support program offered through the University of Southern Maine’s English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) department. Students in the ELB program are nonnative English speakers who have met USM’s admission requirements, but whose TOEFL, IELTS or SAT scores fall below the required level or who have taken ESOL courses at USM.  All ELB students meet with an academic advisor to select courses which offer key elements to aid in that student’s academic success. Students in the ELB program take both ESOL and non-ESOL classes during their first semester or year at USM. Once students have completed the ELB program, they may declare a major.

--Conditional Admission
International students who are seeking an undergraduate degree at USM and are academically qualified but cannot supply a TOEFL, IELTS, or SAT score may be considered for Conditional Admission. Conditionally admitted students will enroll in one or two semester of the IELP in order to achieve language proficiency.  Students admitted as conditional will be issued an I-20 with a major of “general studies”.


Equity and Excellence in Maine Schools

Equity and Excellence in Maine Schools (EEMS) is an outreach initiative of the University of Southern Maine (USM) School of Education and Human Development (SEHD).  The mission of EEMS is to promote awareness of equity issues and to provide resources and supports to help ensure excellence in education for all children in Maine schools.


Professional Development Center

The Professional Development Center (PDC) is the administrative unit for outreach and professional development services of the School of Education and Human Development (SEHD). 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. The PDC works collaboratively with SEHD departments, programs, and other centers to complement their outreach missions and support coordinated efforts; the Maine Department of Education to provide resources for teacher re-certification and endorsement; K-12 schools to design and deliver professional development tailored to school district’s specific needs; human resource organizations to offer professional development opportunities for counselors, school psychologists, and adult educators; and nonprofit organizations and professional associations. The PDC works with SEHD and school partners to develop, deliver, and administer credit and noncredit courses, workshops, and conferences. To learn more about services provided by the Professional Development Center, visit the PDC web site at or call (207) 780-5055. The PDC offices are located on the USM Gorham campus in 8 Bailey Hall. The mailing address is: 37 College Ave, Gorham, ME 04038.

Southern Maine Partnership

The Southern Maine Partnership (SMP) is a school-university collaboration that has linked schools and university in support of student learners since 1985. The Partnership has grown from a group of six school districts to a membership of 36 school districts, 2 private schools, and USM. Our membership represents over one-third of the public school students and teachers in the state and the major teacher education and leadership development university in the region.
The Southern Maine Partnership strives to support the development of schools that fulfill the promise of public education through promoting equity for all learners now and in the future. The Partnership has national ties as well as serves as a regional center of the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) and a member of the National Education Association (NEA). Current work centers on issues of equity, rigor, and personalization in classrooms, schools , and communities. Through networking, applied assistance, and research and dissemination, the SMP assists schools in fulfilling the promise of public education: to educate all students well and to prepare them for futures of promise.

Southern Maine Writing Project

The National Writing Project is the premier effort to improve writing in America. It began at the University of California at Berkeley in 1973 and now has almost 200 sites around the country, including the Maine Writing Project at the University of Maine, now in its 12 th year. The Writing Project fosters an interdisciplinary community and support system of teachers, administrators, and specialists from all grade levels and content areas, K-University. Our USM satellite, in its third year, is a growing, dynamic group. Our ranks include elementary, middle and high school teachers, and a school librarian. Many of us teach English language arts; others teach special education, math, and social studies. We all feel deeply about learning-centered classrooms and schools. We are authors, editors, readers, songwriters, photographers, basketball players, poets, outdoors people, actors, techies, and musicians. The common thread: all of us believe in the importance of writing in our personal and professional lives and in the lives of our students.