This track is intended for students who want to become certified to teach grades 7-12 physical sciences in Maine. Interested students should see the secondary education physics coordinator upon acceptance at USM, matriculation, upon choosing a physics major, or as early in their academic studies at USM as possible. The curriculum for this track is designed to provide prospective grades 7-12 teachers with a strong academic foundation in physical sciences along with a continuous focus on both the theory and practice of teaching through a sequence of preinternship education courses and field experiences. The degree has four components: USM Core Curriculum, a physics major, professional education courses, and electives totaling 120 credit hours.
USM Core Curriculum (including pre-internship education courses)
A student majoring in physics must take 43 credit hours of physics courses including requirements and electives as outlined below. In addition, the major requires 15 credits of mathematics courses, 8 credits of chemistry courses, and a demonstration of competency in computer programming.
To graduate as a physics major, a student must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in all courses that satisfy the major requirement, and a minimum overall GPA of 2.0.
Required Physics courses: (40 credits)
Electives: (3 credits)
In addition to the required courses, students must take at least one course listed below.
Capstone Requirement can be satisfied either by taking PHY 242 - Intermediate Laboratory II or by completing an approved research project with a department faculty member.
Required Mathematics courses: (16 credits)
Required Chemistry courses: (9 credits)
Secondary Teacher Education (7-12) Requirements
The Secondary Teacher Education Pathway is designed to prepare middle and high school teachers, grades 7-12 (K-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.
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 7-12) 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. Finally, 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 they have mastered state and professional standards for their profession. The subscription fee of $103 covers some of the expenses related to the administration and assessment of the program. For loan purposes, Tk20 is eligible for consideration as part of educational costs. The subscription is a one-time payment and must be made by each student after they have passed their candidacy process and before the first semester of their internship year. Subscription instructions are posted on the Office of Educator Preparation website at http://usm.maine.edu/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 her/his state-approved professional program and 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.
Students who fail to meet any of the academic or professional requirements of this track of the major must withdraw from this track, though they may still complete all requirements for the B.A. in English without recommendation for teacher certification.
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 fufilled 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.