Below are some frequently asked questions about the CONTAACT-ME program.
What is CONTAACT-ME?
The Cross-Disciplinary Online Training to Promote Augmentative and Alternative Communication and Tele-Intervention for Maine (CONTAACT-ME) project includes specialized training and tuition funding for students who are enrolled in two graduate programs at the University of Maine.
To be eligible for this opportunity, students must be enrolled in either the master’s in Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education (EI/ECSE) program or the master’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) program with a focus in EI/ECSE and commit to working with young children (birth to age 8) with disabilities, or who are at risk for a disability, as well as their families. Students who have applied to the UMaine Graduate School for one of these two graduate programs are also eligible to apply for the CONTAACT-ME opportunity.
Why are two master’s programs involved?
There is a persistent and critical shortage of early childhood intervention (ECI) personnel trained to support infants and young children with high-intensity communication needs and their families. This necessitates the need for targeted training for EI/ECSE professionals and speech-language pathologists (SLPs) to learn and implement collaborative, family-centered practices related to augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), early intervention, and tele-intervention. Training is especially important for ECI personnel working in rural communities, where access to early intervention may be limited. The programs will provide interdisciplinary coursework, seminars and instructional activities to students who will work together in collaborative teams in real-world situations.
How long is the master’s program?
Each master’s program is approximately 2 academic years and 2 summers when enrolled in two courses per semester. Click on the links below to download sample programs of study.
How many courses do I complete each semester?
Scholars are required to maintain full time status. This typically means that students enroll in two courses per semester toward their advanced degree. For EI/ECSE students, the program is 42 credits. CSD/ECI Scholars will follow the CSD program guidance and credit hours required. To view upcoming course offerings in the EI/ECSE master’s program, click on the button below.
How many scholars will be selected for the funding opportunity?
A limited number of highly qualified applicants will be selected as CONTAACT-ME Scholars. Preference will be given to those students who are currently enrolled in either UMaine’s master’s in Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education program or the master’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders program with a focus in EI/ECSE, or that have applied and have been accepted to the UMaine Graduate School in one of those two applicable master’s programs.
How much financial support is given to a student?
Financial support will vary by student and the number of credit hours needed to complete the master’s program. Scholars will receive approximately $18,500 toward tuition and fees to complete their advanced degree. In addition, scholars will receive funds to support electronic textbook access, technology for virtual observations and travel stipends to attend local/national conferences. The stipend does not fully cover the costs of Graduate School. Review tuition and associated fees here: https://online.umaine.edu/tuition-and-fees/
Is there a service agreement?
Yes. Scholars must complete a service obligation or repay all or part of the cost of assistance. For each academic year (12 credits), students must agree to work in the ECI profession for a minimum of two years. This will be completed electronically if selected for the funding opportunity. Review the Service Obligation Pre-Scholarship Agreement for additional details.
Where do I send other materials for the funding application process?
All materials to support your master’s program application should be included during the online application process to the UMaine Graduate School.
How many applications do I need to complete?
Students who are already enrolled in one of the two applicable master’s programs need only complete the CONTAACT-ME funding application.
Potential students not yet enrolled in one of the two applicable master’s programs must complete two applications: One to the UMaine Graduate School for the master’s program and one for the CONTAACT-ME funding opportunity.
Acceptance to the UMaine Graduate School does not imply acceptance to the CONTAACT-ME funding opportunity.
When is the application deadline?
Applications for the CONTAACT-ME funding opportunity will be accepted on a rolling basis. Successful applicants will be notified within two weeks of application submission, with an expected start date coinciding with the start of the next semester. This is a competitive funding opportunity. Submit your interest and application materials early.