Special Education

MS in Special Education - Integrated General Education and Special Education Initial Teacher Certification

The concentration has three outcomes:

  1. USM Master of Science in Special Education
  2. Recommendation for 020 K-8 elementary or 7-12 content area teacher certification
  3. Recommendation for K-8 or 7-12 282 Teacher of Students with Disabilities.

The online concentration is designed to be completed in two years, or six semesters.  It can be extended to three years, or seven to nine semesters.  USM works in partnership with school districts, special purpose schools, and state approved agencies to make the program available to education technicians and others employed in education. An Individual Internship Plan (IIP) designed by school district, university, and candidate to accommodate employment responsibilities, program requirements, and family needs.

K-8 Certification - 51 credits (all courses are three credits unless noted)

  • EDU 505 Teaching Mathematics K-8
  • EDU 551 Teaching Social Studies K-8
  • EDU 552 Teaching Science K-8   
  • EDU 562 Linguistic and Cultural Diversity 
  • EDU 565 Teaching Reading K-8 for All Students Including those with Diverse Abilities and Backgrounds,     
  • EDU 566 Introduction to Writing Process for All Students Including those with Diverse Abilities and Backgrounds    
  • EDU 600 Research Methods and Techniques 
  • SED 518 Targeted and Individualized Instructional Strategies for Students with Disabilities     
  • SED 520  Multi-Tiered Systems of Classroom Support 
  • SED/EDU 586 Integrated Internship  (9 cr) Topics: Technology, Transition & Family Collaboration, Special Education Eligibility Assessment 
  • SED 615  Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports 
  • SED 682  Special Education Regulations, Procedures, and the IEP Team
  • SED 699  Special Education Research Capstone
  • SPY 625  Advanced Multi-Tier Instruction and Assessment for Mathematics 
  • SPY 627  Advanced Multi-Tier Instruction and Assessment for Reading 

 Secondary 7-12 - 45 credits (all courses are three credits unless noted)

  • EDU 514 Improving Teaching in Content Areas through Literacy for All Students Including those with Diverse Abilities and Backgrounds
  • EDU 562 Linguistic and Cultural Diversity 
  • EDU 566 Introduction to Writing Process for All Students Including those with Diverse Abilities and Backgrounds
  • EDU 600 Research Methods and Techniques  
  • EDU 652 Curriculum Design and Evaluation  
  • SED 518 Targeted and Individualized Instructional Strategies for Students with Disabilities   
  • SED 520  Multi-Tiered Systems of Classroom Support    
  • SED/EDU 586 Integrated Internship  (9 cr)  Focus Topics: Technology, Transition & Family Collaboration, Special Education Eligibility Assessment
  • SED 615  Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports
  • SED 682  Special Education Regulations, Procedures, and the IEP Team  
  • SED 699 Directed Study 
  • SPY 627  Advanced Multi-Tier Instruction and Assessment for Reading  
  • Content Area Methods Courses: One of the following (3 cr)
         EDU 501 Secondary Science Methods
         EDU 502 Secondary English Methods
         EDU 503 Foreign Language Methods
         EDU 504 Secondary Social Studies Methods
         EDU 554 Secondary Mathematics Methods

Tk20

All undergraduate and graduate students who matriculate into an Educator Preparation program at USM and are accepted as a candidate for their internship year are required to subscribe to Tk20 (Watermark), a comprehensive web-based, assessment management and reporting system. Students use Tk20 (Watermark) to provide evidence they have mastered state and professional standards for their profession. The subscription fee of $103 covers some of the expenses related to the administration and assessment of the program.  For loan purposes, TK20 (Watermark) is eligible for consideration as part of educational costs.  The subscription is a one-time payment and must be made by each student after they have passed their candidacy process and before the first semester of their internship year.  Subscription instructions are posted on the Office of Educator Preparation website at http://usm.maine.edu/educator-preparation.

Please note Professional Education Council Policy:  In order for USM’s Education Preparation Unit program-completers to be recommended by the institution to the state for certification or licensure, the candidate must provide evidence of meeting all certification requirements including proficiency on the standards relevant to his/her state approved professional program and this evidence must be compiled and assessed within the context of the Unit’s data management system (i.e., Tk20).

Professional Licensure and Certification Notice

Students who are pursuing degrees leading to application for professional licensure or certification, and/or who will be participating in clinical placements, internships, or practica through their USM program should be aware that their host facility may require a criminal background check, finger printing, or drug screening. In such situations, each student is responsible for obtaining and paying for the background check or other screening process and for delivering required documentation to the facility. Although the University will make reasonable efforts to place admitted students in field experiences and internships, it will be up to the host facility to determine whether a student will be allowed to work at that facility. Students should further be aware that a criminal record may jeopardize licensure by the state certification body. Students may consult the certification body corresponding to their intended occupation for more details. Successful completion of a program of study at USM does not guarantee licensure, certification, or employment in the relevant occupation.

Applicant Qualifications:

Minimum Requirements: Applicant must have bachelor’s degree, from a regionally accredited college or university, and have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in a baccalaureate degree program. Applicants who do not have a 3.0 overall GPA must enclose a letter asking for special consideration, in which they provide evidence of an ability to complete graduate studies successfully.

Passing scores for Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Reading, Writing, and Mathematics.

Prerequisites: Maine certification Exceptionality Course SED 540, SED 335, or course approved by the Maine Office of Certification.

Interview: The Integrated concentration requires a formal interview. Candidates to be interviewed will be selected on the basis of the application materials.

Application Procedures and Required Materials

APPLICATION DEADLINE:

Rolling with priority deadlines: March 1 for summer matriculation, May 1 for fall matriculation, Oct 15 for spring matriculation

Applicants are required to provide the following materials: 

  • Application: Online Application
  • Application fee: $65.00 paid through the online application.
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS transcripts are accessible to USM). A transcript is official when sent directly from the institution.
    • International College transcripts: In addition to an official copy of the transcript, an official evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency is required
  • Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
  • Essay: see below.
  • Three letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant’s knowledge of current scholarship, capacity to connect theory and practice in posing and solving educational problems, achievement of success in educational practice, and demonstrated capability and motivation to engage in advanced graduate study.
  • Praxis Core exam passed based on Maine’s standards.

  • Completed and signed Completion of Exceptionalities Course Form. Completion of Maine’s required exceptionality course for all teachers at USM or another institution.  https://usm.maine.edu/special-education/special-education-admissions-inf...
  • TOEFL or IELTS: Students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information below regarding test scores.

International Applicants 

In addition to the standard application materials, international students must also provide the following materials:

  • College transcript evaluation: official course-by-course evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency
  • Declaration of Finances form accompanied by the appropriate financial documentation
  • International students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. Only applicants with TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for admission to a graduate program.

Applicants whose first language is not English 

Students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. Only applicants with TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test, 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for admission to a graduate program.

Where to send transcripts and application materials

Official transcripts and other supporting documents can be sent to:

Application Processing Center
University of Maine System
P.O. Box 412
Bangor, ME 04402-0412

Colleges and universities that participate in electronic submission of transcripts can send official transcripts to edocs@maine.edu. Resumes, essays, and other documents can also be sent to edocs@maine.edu.

For a transcript or recommendation to be considered official, it must be sent by the institution or the person writing the recommendation.

Special Essay Question for Integrated Concentration

A free, appropriate public education for students with disabilities represents our democratic society's commitment to educating all its children. A teacher lives out this commitment in his/her daily instruction and professional activities as an educator. Please describe what you think it means as a teacher to provide equitable learning opportunities for all students, including students with disabilities.

Transfer Policies

Transferring courses into the degree: Non-matriculated students may take two graduate-level courses (six credit hours) that they pass with a grade of 'B' or better prior to applying. Students may enroll in up to two graduate-level courses for the semester in which they apply (six graduate credit hours). A possible total of twelve graduate-level credits may be completed before matriculating in the program. Only courses taken within five years of application will be considered. Transfer credits are evaluated during the admissions process, so syllabi and course description of courses for transfer credit requests should accompany the application. If an applicant has questions on whether courses will transfer into a program or not, s/he should discuss the credit transfer with the Program Faculty.

Transferring to a different concentration after matriculation: A candidate must apply to the new concentration using a Re-Application form with a processing fee of $15. The application and supporting materials are sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions. The application will be reviewed by faculty for approval.