Jun 09, 2023  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Special Education, Teaching Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities, M.S. (certification)

The Master of Science in Special Education in Teaching Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities concentration is designed for individuals seeking initial certification to teach students with disabilities, whether new to the profession or already having teaching experience. The concentration provides:

  • courses and internships for initial teacher certification in teaching students with mild to moderate disabilities,
  • coursework in various specialty areas such as teaching students with learning disabilities and students on the autism spectrum, and
  • preparation to collaborate effectively in school-wide, multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS), including Response to Intervention (RTI) and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS).

Current general education teachers, specialty area professionals such as occupational therapists, special education teachers, education technicians, and people with a bachelor’s degree seeking initial certification and a new teaching career in special education are among those for whom the program is intended.

Program Requirements

Teaching Students with Mild to Moderate Disabilities (certification)


  • Maine approved certification Exceptionality Course such as SED 540, SED 235, or course approved by the Maine Department of Education.

Certification Requirements

Certification Requirements:

  • Upon satisfactory completion of the above courses the candidate is recommended for Maine 282 certification.


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 and this evidence must be compiled and assessed within the context of the Unit’s data management system.

Professional Licensure and Certification Notice

Students who are pursuing degrees leading to application for professional licensure or certification, and/or who will be participating in clinical placements, internships, or practica through their USM program should be aware that their host facility may require a criminal background check, finger printing, or drug screening. In such situations, each student is responsible for obtaining and paying for the background check or other screening process and for delivering required documentation to the facility. Although the University will make reasonable efforts to place admitted students in field experiences and internships, it will be up to the host facility to determine whether a student will be allowed to work at that facility. Students should further be aware that a criminal record may jeopardize licensure by the state certification body. Students may consult the certification body corresponding to their intended occupation for more details. Successful completion of a program of study at USM does not guarantee licensure, certification, or employment in the relevant occupation.