Maine’s system of two-year community colleges offers associate-level degrees in different educational fields, but a four-year degree is the prerequisite for obtaining a Maine teaching license. The Maine Department of Education reviews teaching schools in Maine and provides official approval for collegiate programs in education. Unless he or she holds an out-of-state full teaching certificate, a prospective teacher must attend a state education department approved teaching program to earn a Maine teacher license.
The Maine Department of Education lists 16 different schools of education as official providers of approved Maine teacher education programs. Many of these programs are available through the various campus locations of the University of Maine system, including campuses at Fort Kent, Farmington, and Machias. Many private institutions are also home to official Maine approved teacher education programs, such as the College of the Atlantic and St. Joseph’s College. Education programs are available at more than half of the 30 public universities and private colleges in Maine’s higher educational system.
The University of Maine at Farmington is the state’s oldest public teacher education program. The university was founded in 1864 as a teacher’s school and grew to add other departments over time. UMF offers six different education programs leading to Maine teacher certification in the areas of early childhood education, elementary education, secondary education, and special education. Pre-service and in-service teachers in Maine can also benefit from UMF’s Kalikow Curriculum Materials Center, an education learning center that provides learning material and technology items for use by teachers.
More than 12,000 students are enrolled in the 177 different degree-granting programs at the University of Maine, making it one of Maine’s largest higher learning institutions. The university’s School of Education and Human Development offers six undergraduate programs leading to Maine teacher certification in the areas of elementary education, early childhood education, and kinesiology. In the fall of 2012, the University of Maine established a doctoral program conferring Ph.D. degrees in K-12 education.
The University of Southern Maine’s School of Education and Human Development offers eight different educational programs that lead directly to initial teacher certification within Maine. These include three Extended Teacher Education Programs (ETEP), which are nationally-recognized master’s-level programs that involve daily experience in real-life classroom settings. USM offers a Newcomer ETEP program for recent immigrants or foreign language speakers who want to become Maine teachers.
The Department of Education at the University of New England offers seven different educational programs leading towards professional certification. These include two bachelor’s degree programs, one each in elementary education and secondary education, and a master’s-level program in teaching methodology. UNE’s Department of Education also offers an online master’s degree program for distance learners.