Jul 20, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Special Education, B.S.

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Special Education Overview

Professor: Walter H.Kimball
Assistant Professor: Rachel Brown, Sarah Wilkinson
Part-Time Lecturers: Amanda Buckley, David Chidsey, William Corcoran, Ajay Das, Jennifer Doucette, Patti Drapeau, Katie Kolbe-Holden, Jennifer Libby, Trish Merrill, Sanford (Sandy) Prince,  Roger (Ron) Robert, Jessica Swan, Danielle Williams

The Special Education Bachelor of Science is designed for people seeking to obtain special education teacher certification. The Special Education major provides courses and field experiences to prepare teachers for students with mild to moderate disabilities. Students apply learning through projects and assignments that are practical and preparation for meeting the needs of students with high incidence disabilities.

Courses offered are fully online, synchronously or asynchronously. In order to ensure access to embedded learning experiences in schools, all synchronous courses meet after the school day.

The Special Education Department also offers the Master of Science (MS) in Special Education program with two different concentrations that are designed to meet the needs of educators at different career levels. 

Program Requirements


The pre-internship phase of the major is the first three years of the program prior to advanced coursework and the student-teaching internship. Required pre-internship coursework is as follows:

Field Experience

Each of the courses with a * includes required service learning or practicum hours in a school or community setting to give pre-interns hands-on experience with K-12 students and create connections between theory and practice. These formal placements are linked to each course and 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/office-educator-preparation/chrc-approval-process/

Professional Internship

Internship takes place in the student’s final year at USM, following successful completion of the pre-internship requirements. During the fall and spring semesters of internship, students are placed in a K-8 or 7-12 student-teaching placement with a partner district where they complete student teaching requirements. For details about placement and success in internship, refer to the Special Education Student Handbook.

Please see USM’s Professional Licensure and Certification Notice located on the Office of Registration Services website for more information: https://catalog.usm.maine.edu/content.php?catoid=13&navoid=623#professional-licensure-and-certification-notice

Coursework taken during Professional Internship includes:



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 Special Education major requirements are eligible for recommendation for the 282 special education (mild to moderate needs) 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 of the Special Education major will work with their advisor to determine an alternative to the Special Education degree.

NOTE–Course requirements are subject to change based upon changes in teacher certification regulations.

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