The Department of Biological Sciences offers a B.S. in biology with a concentration in secondary teacher education at the undergraduate level for prospective teachers. This track is offered in partnership with the School of Education and Human Development and is designed to provide prospective teachers with a strong academic foundation in Biological Sciences.
Because this B.S. in biology - secondary teacher education concentration is a joint program between the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Science, Technology, and Health and the USM Teacher Education program within the School of Education and Human Development, there are requirements from both colleges that must be met as well as the university Core Curriculum requirements. Many requirements overlap so that the overall credit requirement for this concentration is 115 minimum, depending on any readiness requirements that must be met in the first year, and the specific Biology courses taken at the 200 level or above. If possible, students should consider taking education elective courses that will support them to become better teachers including, but not limited to, topics such as literacy, technology, and understanding and collaborating with families.
USM Core Curriculum (including pre-internship education courses)
- Writing, Reading, and Inquiry 1: ENG 100 - College Writing or equivalent (3 cr)
- Writing, Reading, and Inquiry 2: ENG 102 - Academic Writing or equivalent (3 cr)
- Writing, Reading, and Inquiry 3: (3 cr)
- Cultural Interpretation: (3 cr)
- Quantitative Reasoning: MAT 152 - Calculus A (required) (4 cr)
- Creative Expression: THE 102 - Acting for Non-Majors or THE 170 - Public Speaking (recommended) (3 cr)
- Socio-Cultural Analysis: EDU 225 - Multicultural Child and Adolescent Development (required) (3 cr)
- Science Exploration: BIO 107 - Biological Principles II: Evolution, Biodiversity, and Ecology (required) (4.5 cr)
- Ethical Inquiry, Social Responsibility, and Citizenship: EDU 310 - Education, Schooling, and Democracy (recommended) (3 cr)
- Culture, Power, and Equity: EDU 305 - Foundations of Cultural and Linguistic Diversity (required) (3 cr)
- International: EDU 310 - Education, Schooling, and Democracy (recommended) (3 cr)
- Engaged Learning: EDU 222 - Foundations of Language and Literacy Development or EDU 305 - Foundations of Cultural and Linguistic Diversity (required) (3 cr)
A grade of C- or higher is required for all courses listed below.
All of the following are required:
One lecture/laboratory combination from each of the following three areas:
In addition to BIO 105 , BIO 106 , BIO 107 , BIO 109 , BIO 201 , BIO 203 , BIO 217 , and one lecture/laboratory course from each of the three stipulated areas, biology majors are required to take either two additional biology lecture courses or one biology lecture/laboratory course, with prefix numbers of 200 or above.
AREA 1: Organismal Biology
AREA 3: Cellular and Functional Biology
Additional required courses:
In addition, the biology major must satisfactorily complete all of the following courses. Students also must fulfill the University Core Curriculum requirements, including a Capstone course in the major.
Secondary Teacher Education (6-12) Requirements
The Secondary Teacher Education Pathway is designed to prepare middle and high school teachers, grades 6-12 (PreK-12 for world language teachers) who are knowledgeable of the content they will teach and who have the skills to apply that knowledge to classroom teaching. Secondary education students major in the discipline they plan to teach and take a series of teacher education courses that satisfy their University Core Curriculum requirements as well as fulfill the requirements for Maine teacher certification in their discipline. These courses introduce students to aspects of teaching and learning and provide hands-on field experiences in schools and community agencies where they can make connections between theory and practice. At the time of degree completion, students will have met the degree requirements for a major and for initial teacher certification.
Program Declaration and Withdrawal
All students must formally declare their entry into a teacher education pathway by completing the Declaration and/or Dropping of Undergraduate Teacher Education Pathway Form through the registrar’s office. The form is located in the forms section of the Office of Registration and Scheduling Services. https://usm.maine.edu/registration-services
The minimum academic requirements to be a student in good standing in the Secondary Teacher Education Pathway are as follows:
- A grade of B- or better in all professional education coursework.
- A grade of C or better in content courses required for the area of teacher certification.
- An overall GPA of 3.0 or better.
Failure to maintain the above requirements may result in program dismissal. Appeals may be made in writing to the Director of Educator Preparation.
Upon declaring the Secondary Teacher Education Pathway, a student becomes a pre-intern. The pre-internship phase of the program is the first three years of the program prior to the professional internship. Pre-internship coursework is as follows:
Each of the courses with a * includes required service learning or practicum hours in a partner school or community setting to give pre-interns hands-on experience with students and create connections between theory and practice. These formal placements are arranged by the Field Experience Coordinator in the Office of Educator Preparation. Other education courses may require observation experiences in field settings that students arrange on their own. Students are required to be fingerprinted prior to starting a course that includes a field experience placement. For more information on the fingerprinting process see: https://usm.maine.edu/educator-preparation
Upon declaring their Secondary Teacher Education Pathway, pre-interns will have progress checks completed to ensure adequate progression through the pathway. These progress checks will be completed at the end of each academic year. Assuming a four-year program, the checks will be as follows:
- Year 1: GPA check, documentation of CHRC/fingerprinting completion, and field placement feedback
- Year 2: GPA check and field placement feedback
- Year 3: GPA check, successful completion of EDU 442, field placement feedback
Please see the Maine Department of Education site for more information about fingerprinting: http://www.maine.gov/doe/cert/fingerprinting.
When pre-interns have successfully completed their required coursework and are set to begin their student-teaching internship the following Fall, they will enroll in the Professional Seminar.
The professional internship is a full-year experience that fulfills Maine’s student teaching requirement and provides secondary education teacher candidates the opportunity to apply what they are learning in their teacher education courses in a more sustained and in-depth setting. The first semester internship is the equivalent of 20 hours per week in a partner school district, and the second semester internship is a full time, five days per week experience in a partner school. Students take the following internship courses concurrently.
Content Area Methods Course-one of the following (3 cr)
The following majors have Secondary Teacher Education Pathway options:
- Environmental Science
- Geography - Anthropology
- Natural and Applied Sciences
Please see each major’s section of this catalog for their requirements.
Secondary Teacher Education Pathway students (grades 6-12) need a minimum of twenty-four credit hours in the content areas they plan to teach.
It is recommended that those interested in teaching at the middle level complete coursework in a second content area (e.g. English, mathematics, social studies or science) to become highly qualified to teach an additional content area. Students should consider taking additional education courses, which will support them in becoming more well-rounded teachers, in topics such as literacy and technology.
Tk20 by Watermark is the comprehensive web-based, assessment management and reporting system used by all students in Educator Preparation programs at USM. All undergraduate and graduate students who matriculate into an Educator Preparation program at USM and are accepted as a candidate for their internship/student teaching year are required to subscribe to Tk20. Students use Tk20 to provide evidence that they have mastered state and professional standards for their profession. There is a one-time subscription fee related to the administration and assessment of the program that must be paid by each student before their internship begins. For loan purposes, Tk20 is eligible for consideration as part of educational costs. Subscription instructions (including the current fee) are posted on the Office of Educator Preparation page on MyUSM at https://mycampus.maine.edu/group/usm/office-of-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 Maine Department of Education for certification or licensure, the candidate must provide evidence of meeting all certification requirements including proficiency on the standards relevant to their state-approved professional program.This evidence must be compiled and assessed within the context of the Unit’s data management system (i.e., Tk20).
Recommendation for Certification
Graduates who successfully complete all the Secondary Teacher Education Pathway requirements are eligible for recommendation for teacher certification in Maine. In order to be recommended for certification, students must complete the Recommendation for Certification form. Students who fail to meet the academic or professional requirements for the Secondary Teacher Education Pathway or choose not to pursue teacher certification may withdraw from the pathway and graduate with their major.
NOTE–Course requirements are subject to change based upon changes in teacher certification regulations.
USM Core Requirements
The USM Core Curriculum is a coherent, integrative, and rigorous liberal education that enables our graduates to be world-minded, intentional, life-long learners and captures your general education degree requirements.
Please Note: Core requirements may be part of your major and/or minor, and Core may have been fulfilled with transfer credit. Please consult your MaineStreet Degree Progress Report (DPR) and review your degree progress with your Advisor. For additional information, access the USM Core webpage.