New micro-credential to build capacity for behavioral supports in Maine schools

The University of Maine will soon begin offering a micro-credential for educators to become Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) coaches and trainers in schools and school districts throughout the state.

PBIS is a nationally recognized framework providing a multi-tiered continuum of supports to all students, promoting positive academic and socio-behavioral outcomes. The UMaine College of Education and Human Development has led several initiatives to implement the program at over 75 schools in Maine, with more being added each year. The Maine PBIS Tier 1 Trainer and Coach micro-credential will allow participants to work with teams of educators to support implementation of the framework.

“The schools we’ve worked with so far have seen incredible benefits that will last for years,” says Courtney Angelosante, PBIS initiative coordinator and faculty member in special education at the College of Education and Human Development. “Students are getting the support they need to thrive in the classroom, and teachers are able to focus on teaching and are better equipped to handle all types of behavioral issues.”

The PBIS micro-credential was created through a partnership between the University of Maine System (UMS) and the Maine Department of Education (DOE) to address a shortage of trainers and coaches in the state, Angelosante says. Learners who complete classes, workshops and other activities will receive digital badges that certify they have certain skills and competencies. Once a person gets three badges, they will earn a micro-credential endorsing them as a PBIS trainer/coach.

To earn the micro-credential, participants must complete a series of three graduate-level courses in Response to Intervention for Behavior through the UMaine College of Education and Human Development. All of the classes are offered via UMaineOnline, and similar coursework from other institutions will be considered. Other requirements include attending state and national PBIS conferences, completing webinars and other trainings, and observing and practicing the skills discussed in the courses and workshops.

Thanks to a Maine DOE state personnel preparation grant, there is no cost for participation other than the coursework. To ensure a personalized experience, only 10 participants will be accepted for the micro-credential each year. Applicants who currently work in a school or school district must submit a letter from a supervisor, and all applicants will need to fill out an online application, which are due by July 31.

Further details about the Maine PBIS Tier 1 Trainer and Coach micro-credential are online. For more information about the University of Maine System Micro-Credential Initiative, the visit the UMS website.

Contact: Casey Kelly,