Apr 25, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Early Childhood Special Education, B-5 Certification, B.S.


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The mission and goals of UMFs Early Childhood Special Education Program are to:  

  • Provide coursework and field experiences that exemplify high-quality, best practices in the field of early intervention and early childhood special education.
  • Integrate coursework with practice experiences.  
  • Design and implement programs and educational experiences that are accessible to a variety of different learners, including traditional on-campus students, transfers, adult learners, and active professionals. 
  • Prepare students for a range of different careers in early childhood special education, including in early care settings, public schools, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, community settings (hospitals, recreation, therapy groups), family services, advocacy, policy work, and professional development.
  • Prepare students to tackle many of the contemporary issues facing children with disabilities, their families and the profession, including access, support, trauma, substance use, mental health, poverty, social justice, equity, and inclusion.  
  • Develop future advocates, professionals, and leaders in early childhood special education.

Total Major Requirements 63 Credits


Additional Requirements:


Professional Education Courses


Students must have grades of B- or higher in all professional education courses, with the possibility of one exemption for extenuating circumstances, in order to achieve Candidacy and to graduate. Practicum courses cannot be considered for exemption.

Teacher Disposition Assessment


All students are regularly assessed on essential dispositions and professional characteristics as a part of each practicum as well as internship/student teaching. Successful completion of teacher dispositions is clearly defined in practica/internship/student teaching syllabi and is necessary to achieve Candidacy.

Fingerprinting


Students entering ALL UMF Teacher Education programs (ECH, ECS, ELE, SEC/Middle, SED, WLK-12 and School Health, School Health-PE) must be fingerprinted and have a Criminal History Record Check prior to their first practicum.

Other Requirements


General Education Requirements


For specific information about general education requirements and expectations, see the General Education Requirements  in the Academic Programs section of this catalog.

Candidacy, Student Teaching, & Graduation Requirements


Candidacy

Students are eligible to apply for Candidacy upon the completion of Candidacy requirements. Applications for Candidacy are completed in Tk20. Only students who have been approved for Candidacy are eligible to continue in their professional education program. Candidacy requirements are:

  • Completion of the Candidacy application
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.750 or higher
  • Grade of B- or better in all professional education courses. (A student may have one exemption, although the student must earn a grade of C- or higher in that particular course. Practicum courses are not eligible for exemption.)
  • Grade of C or better in English 100 (AP credit is accepted, as is an equivalent English course transferred with a grade of C or higher.)
  • Successful completion of practicum/practica with a grade of B- or higher
  • Successful completion of the Teacher Candidate Dispositions and Professional Expectations Assessment

Student Teaching

Prior to beginning student teaching, students must meet these additional criteria:

  • Complete all required professional education courses (see Major Requirements) with grades of B- or higher with the possibility of one exemption for extenuating circumstances (not including practicum courses)
  • Earn a cumulative GPA of 2.750 or higher

Graduation

Students must have grades of B- or higher in their professional education courses, with the possibility of one exemption for extenuating circumstances (not including practicum courses), while attaining a cumulative GPA of 2.750 or higher to graduate.

 

Minimum Total Credits for the Degree: 120


Learning Goals and Assessment


Philosophy, Purposes and Goals:

Our candidates will become the educational leaders of the 21st century who are caring teachers, competent educators and collaborative professional leaders (C3TEP). These guiding principles and beliefs reflect the ideals we hold for ourselves, our candidates, and the students and communities with whom they will work.

Caring Teachers:

  • Build respectful relationships
  • Create communities of learners
  • Support and encourage successful learning for all students
  • Honor and respond to differences
  • Utilize knowledge of human development

Competent Educators:

  • Design, plan, implement and evaluate instruction
  • Use best practices for instruction and assessment
  • Know content and strategies for integration
  • Communicate clearly and effectively
  • Solve problems creatively and constructively
  • Use the tools of a changing world

Collaborative Professional Leaders:

  • Collaborate effectively with families, communities, and colleagues
  • Practice reflective, self-directed, life-long learning
  • Demonstrate a commitment to ethical and legal responsibilities
  • Contribute to and lead in diverse societies

Maine Standards for Initial Teacher Certification

Our essential goals and purposes are embodied in the Maine’s Common Core Teaching Standards:

Learner Development

Standard 1.) Learner Development:

The teacher understands how students learn and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.

Standard 2.) Learning Differences:

The teacher uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that allow each learner to reach their full potential.

Standard 3.) Learning Environments:

The teacher works with learners to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, encouraging positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.

Content

Standard 4.) Content Knowledge:

The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners.

Standard 5.) Innovative Applications of Content:

The teacher understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical/creative thinking, and collaborative problem-solving related to authentic local and global issues.

Instructional Practice

Standard 6.) Assessment

The teacher understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to document learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s ongoing planning and instruction.

Standard 7.) Planning for Instruction:

The teacher draws upon knowledge of content areas, cross-disciplinary skills, learners, the community, and pedagogy to plan instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals.

Standard 8.) Instructional Strategies:

The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to access and appropriately apply information.

Professional Responsibility

Standard 9.) Reflection and Continuous Growth:

The teacher is a reflective practitioner who uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (students, families, and other professionals in the learning community) and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.

Standard 10.) Collaboration:

The teacher seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.

Technology

Standard 11.) Technology Standards for Educators:

Educators model and apply the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards for Educators as they leverage technology to explore best practices and evolving pedagogies to enrich professional practices, and support and deepen student learning.

Assessment Criteria

Within the context of each program, candidates are evaluated based on important knowledge, skills, and dispositions in the areas of:

  • Content Knowledge
  • Effective Planning
  • P-12 Learning
  • Diversity
  • Dispositions
  • Technology
  • Curriculum Planning, Instruction, and Assessment as demonstrated in Student Teaching or Internship
  • Achievement of Standards

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