Undergraduate Teacher Education

Student taking notes

Frequently Asked Questions

Our Undergraduate Teacher Education program offers:

  • An Elementary Education major that leads to a Bachelor of Science and certification to teach grades K-8.
  • Secondary Teacher Education Pathways that lead to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science and certification to teach grades 7-12, or world languages to K-12.

If you don’t see an answer to your question below, or you’d like to receive more information about the University, please contact our Office of Admissions.



When do I get to start student teaching?

  • Field experience begins with classroom observation during your first year and continues during your second and third years.
  • Your final year includes a year-long internship of student teaching, during which you’ll gain experience in two different schools and/or grade levels.

 

I read that I’ll get to select a concentration along with my Elementary Education major. How do I decide what to concentrate in?

  • As a student in an Elementary Education Major (K-8), you'll select an area of concentration from the list of content areas below:
    • English
    • Geography-Anthropology/Social Studies
    • History/Social Studies
    • Liberal Studies: Humanities
    • Math
    • Science
  • As you review the options for your area of concentration, here are a few things to keep in mind:
    • If you’d like to teach elementary school students (K-5):
      • When considering your area of concentration, ask yourself: What subject am I most interested in? What topics make me excited about teaching in the future?
    • If you’d like to teach middle school students (6-8):
      • You should look at the majors offered by the Secondary Teacher Education Pathways to teach in grades 7-12.
      • Choose a concentration in a subject you are most interested in — with the understanding that many middle school teachers teach multiple subjects such as math and science for STEM or English and social studies for humanities. 
      • If you’re unsure, we’ll help you to determine which area of concentration and which pathway best fit your interests and your needs.

 

I read that I’ll get to select a major along with my Secondary Teacher Education Pathway. How do I decide what to major in?

  • Review your options for majors.
  • Ask yourself:
    • What subject am I most interested in?
    • What topics make me excited about teaching in the future?
  • If you’d like to teach a world language, you can major in either French or Spanish Linguistics and graduate with a qualification to teach grades K-12.

 

I want to teach middle school. Should I study through the Elementary Education major (K-8) or the Secondary Teacher Education Pathway (7-12)

  • Our Elementary Education major has an interdisciplinary content focus. This is because Elementary teachers provide instruction in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. This major is child-centered.
  • Our Secondary Teacher Education Pathways are content-centered with a focus on a single subject for working with students ages 11-18 years old.

 

Where can I find more information about Art Education or Music Education majors?

  • The University offers majors in Art Education and Music Education that lead to K-12 teacher certification. Please note that these programs are offered separately from our undergraduate teacher education program. Learn more about Art and Music Teacher Education.

 

I’m excited about the field experience and student teaching internship — but how will I travel to those schools?

  • Students are responsible for arranging transportation to field experiences and student teaching internships. Students traveling to schools in Portland, Westbrook, and Gorham can make use of the METRO Husky Line, which provides free USM student transportation 7 days-per-week, year-round.
  • Many students also arrange group carpools for transportation to field experiences and student teaching.

 

When will I graduate?

  • Full-time students can complete the Elementary Education major or the Secondary Teacher Education Pathways and earn their degree in approximately four years if they begin as a first-year student and take the recommended 15 credits per semester.
  • The Elementary Education major include 120 required credits. Required credits include your teacher preparation courses, the courses for your major, USM’s Core Curriculum requirements, and your student teaching internship.
    • This is the typical number of credits for an undergraduate degree.

 

I’m a current student at the University. Can I change majors and declare an Elementary Education Major or Secondary Teacher Education Pathway?

  • Our current students who are interested in teaching should contact Christen Eaton, Academic Advisor, or connect with their professional advisor, for information about our Undergraduate Teacher Education Major and Pathways.

 

I’m interested in transferring to USM to pursue an Elementary Education Major or Secondary Teacher Education Pathway. Where do I start?

  • We welcome students who would like to transfer to the University! Our Office of Admissions would love to answer any questions you have about the transfer process. We can also offer an unofficial transcript evaluation to identify the best way to use the credits you’ve already earned.
  • Call us: 1-800-800-4USM
    or (207) 780-5670
    TTY (207) 780-5646
  • Email us: admitusm@maine.edu
  • You can also learn more about transferring to USM.

 

I already have a bachelor’s degree in an area outside of education, and I’d like to switch careers and to be a teacher. What’s the best option for me?

  • You may consider our graduate level Teaching and Learning — Extended Teacher Education Program (ETEP) (MSEd) program, which allows students who already hold a bachelor’s degree to earn their Master of Science in Education in as little as 9 months or up to 2 years. Learn more about the ETEP program.

 

Does USM offer graduate teacher education programs?