Undergraduate Teacher Education

Classroom of high school students

Secondary Teacher Education (7-12)

The University of Southern Maine (USM) Teacher Education program offers a unique approach to teacher education. Our Secondary Teacher Education Pathways allow you to combine teacher preparation courses and student teaching experience with a major in the liberal arts or sciences.

You’ll graduate with a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor Science, depending on your major, and you’ll be qualified for middle and high school teacher certification (Grades 7-12) in public school settings through the Maine Department of Education.

The Benefits of Our Secondary Teacher Education Pathways

  • Expertise and insight in the content you’ll teach: By majoring in the liberal arts or sciences, you’ll be prepared as an engaging and resourceful educator.
  • Experience in the classroom: You’ll gain more classroom experience here than any other teacher preparation program in the state of Maine. 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 student teaching internship, during which you’ll gain experience in both middle school and high school.
  • Expanded career options: By graduating with a BA or BS and being certified to teach grades 7 through 12, you’ll be qualified for a wider range of employment opportunities, including careers within and outside the field of education.

Selecting Your Major

As a student in a Secondary Teacher Education Pathway (7-12), you’ll select a major from the list below:

  • Biology (BS)
  • Chemistry (BA)
  • English (BA)
  • Environmental Science (BS)
  • Geography-Anthropology/Social Studies (BA)
  • History/Social Studies (BA)
  • Mathematics (BA)
  • Natural and Applied Sciences (BA)
  • Physics (BA)

As you review the options for your major, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • When considering your major, 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 (Grades 7-8):
    • You should look at the majors offered by both the Elementary Teacher Education Pathway and the Secondary Teacher Education Pathway. 
    • Choose a major in a subject you are most interested in. If you’re unsure, we’ll help you to determine which major and which pathway best suit your interests and your needs.
       
  • Not sure which major you’re interested in yet? That’s okay —  if you just know you’d like to teach middle or high school, that’s a great place to start!

Looking for a Different Teacher Education Pathway or Major?

Becoming a Teacher

Our Teacher Education Pathways provide a rigorous, authentic learning experience. When you graduate, you’ll have expertise in the subject area that you’ll teach along with a superior background in educator preparation. You’ll also know which school setting suits you best, and you’ll be ready to tackle the professional challenges ahead.

The skills and attributes we emphasize and cultivate in future teachers:

  • Passion for working with adolescents and for the subject matter you’ll teach.
  • Commitment to equity.
  • Skills and creativity in classroom technology use.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Adaptable team player.

Advising and Support

You’ll receive academic and professional development support on several levels:

  • Selecting courses: During your first and second years, you’ll work one-on-one with a professional advisor to plan your schedule and track your progress toward graduation.
  • Staying on track to graduate: During your third and final years, you’ll receive guidance from a faculty advisor. Faculty advisors ensure that you’re meeting requirements for your Teacher Education Pathway and your major, and they’ll discuss career plans with you.
  • Establishing your student teaching internship: You’ll work with our Office of Educator Preparation to determine which school district best matches your career goals, your Teacher Education Pathway, and your geographic location.
  • Learning from professional teachers: During your final year internship, you’ll be mentored by an on-site teacher.

Learn More


Questions?

Our Admissions Counselors would love to answer any questions you have about our Teacher Education Pathways.

Visit Us!

The best way to learn more about our University is to visit our beautiful campuses. The Secondary Teacher Education Pathways are taught on our Portland and Gorham campuses. Register for a tour today.