Alternative Pathways

Alternative pathways-1At the University of Maine, we realize that people enter the teaching profession in many different ways. Thus, we are committed to making the process easier for individuals who do not pursue certification as part of a bachelor’s degree program. This page contains information about classes offered at UMaine that provide alternative pathways to teacher certification in the state of Maine. In general, those seeking alternative certification will need to complete a course in teaching exceptional children, as well as coursework in teaching methods. We can help.

To start, please review the Maine Department of Education’s certification and credentialing information. MDOE is responsible for certifying and credentialing of PreK-12 teachers and administrators in the state. Those individuals choosing an alternative pathway to certification must go through MDOE to actually obtain a teaching certificate. The department offers services, such as transcript analysis, which you can use to determine what classes you need to complete to become certified. Below are some of the courses offered at UMaine that should satisfy MDOE’s requirements.

Undergraduate courses

The state of Maine requires a bachelor’s degree for teacher certification. If you do not already have a bachelor’s, please go to our undergraduate programs page to learn more about our majors. If you already have a bachelor’s degree and are interested in master’s programs that lead to teacher certification, please see our Master of Arts in Teaching and Special Education graduate programs pages.

If you have a bachelor’s degree and only need to complete coursework in methods or teaching exceptional children, the College of Education and Human Development offers the classes listed below. To register, you must obtain instructor permission and enroll as a non-degree student through the UMaine Division of Lifelong Learning. Classes may be held on different days/times and in different formats depending on the semester. So please look up the class on the University of Maine System’s course search to see when it is being offered.

For more information, please contact the College of Education and Human Development Advising Center,

Teaching Children with Exceptionalities

  • SED 302/500: Adapting Instruction for Students with Disabilities. Develops knowledge and understanding of students with disabilities. Topics include: adaptation of instruction, legal and ethical issues, family and social relationships and collaboration between school and community agencies.

Elementary Education Methods

  • EMA 314: Teaching Mathematics in Elementary School. Instruction on methods and techniques in teaching mathematics, arithmetic readiness program, instructional and evaluation material.
  • ERL 319: Teaching Reading and Language Arts in Preschool to Grade 3. Current methods, materials, and assessment tools in teaching reading and writing to children preschool to grade three, including early literacy development, guided reading/shared reading, spelling and oral language development, handwriting instruction, the writing processes of young children, and reading and writing reciprocity in literacy development. Field experience required as part of the course.
  • ERL 320: Teaching Reading and Language Arts in Grades 4-8. Current methods, materials, strategies, and assessment tools to teach and assess reading and writing in grades 4-8, including the foundation for teaching using vocabulary, content area reading, the reading/writing connection, narrative and informational text, and print skills with intermediate/middle grades students.
  • ESC 316: Teaching Science in the Elementary School. Presents information and activities designed to encourage students to learn and develop goals and objectives, instructional strategies, selection of curriculum materials K-8, effective management and evaluation techniques.
  • ESS 315: Teaching Social Studies in the Elementary School. Examines methods and materials for social studies in the elementary school and ways of relating the work of the social studies class to an understanding of practical problems of the community.

Early Childhood Methods

  • ERL 317: Children’s Literature. An overview of literature written for children between the ages of four and twelve. Emphasis on developing criteria for evaluating various types of books and selecting for individual children.
  • CHF 321: Curriculum and Methods for Teaching Young Children Science. Applies developmental theory to the construction of science curriculum and methods in early childhood education. Students explore a range of curriculum models, approaches and strategies as they learn to apply theory to meeting children’s learning needs individually and in groups.
  • CHF 322: Curriculum and Methods for Teaching Young Children Social Studies. Students will develop integrated curriculum focusing on social studies for young children. Issues of inclusion, assessment, and family involvement are integrated into class content to promote social competence in young children.
  • CHF 329: Curriculum and Methods for Teaching Young Children Math. Presents activities and instruction to support candidates’ lesson planning and assessment in math for teaching young children.

Secondary Education Methods

  • EMA 405: Mathematics for Secondary Teachers. This is a course for prospective secondary mathematics teachers. Students will investigate the teaching of secondary mathematics from mathematical, philosophical and practical perspectives.
  • ERL 440: Teaching Reading in the Secondary School. An exploratory course for high school teachers who wish to develop competence in teaching reading. Includes the nature of the reading process, rationales for continuing reading instruction in junior and senior high schools, reading and study strategies, improving rates of reading, organization, evaluation.
  • ESS 441: Teaching Social Studies in the Secondary School. Covers current practices in teaching social studies, selection and use of instructional materials, modern trends in curriculum construction for social studies in the secondary school.
  • ESC 452: Teaching Science in the Secondary School. Instructional strategies and general approaches to teaching science in grades 7-12. Emphasis on professional literature, curriculum development, teaching and learning styles and reflective teaching.