Special Education — 4+1 Program

Special education teachers are in high demand in Maine and beyond. To meet this critical need and help serve Maine’s students, families and communities, the University of Maine, the University of Maine at Machias and the University of Maine at Augusta have teamed up to provide a comprehensive program that offers a pathway into the exciting and rewarding field of special education. The UMaine, UMM and UMA programs are aligned with state and national standards, and feature top-notch faculty adept at preparing educators to work with children who have exceptionalities.

Program delivery
Thanks to the partnership agreement between UMaine, UMM and UMA students at these institutions have the option of earning their bachelor’s degree in education with a specialization or concentration in special education, plus a master’s degree in just five years. UMaine undergrads majoring in elementary education can opt for an area of specialization (18 credits) in special education, with one of the required courses in the specialization completed at UMaine and five courses completed online through UMaine Machias. The required courses are:

  • SED 302 Adapting Instruction for Students with Disabilities
  • SED 420 Special Education Law*
  • SED 425 Assessment in Special Education*
  • SED 435 Program Planning in Special Education*
  • SED 445 Behavior Support and Intervention*
  • SED 455 Transition Issues for Students with Disabilities*

* = Credits can count toward master’s degree for students enrolled in 4+1 program.

Plus one elective:

  • SED 330 Math Methods in Special Education
  • SED 340 Communication and Collaboration in Special Education
  • SED 362 Typical and Atypical Expressive and Receptive Language
  • SED 365 Differentiated Instructional Strategies
  • SED 370 Teaching Reading and Writing to Children with Special Needs
  • SED 380 Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

The 4+1 program allows students in the special education area of specialization to earn their Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree in addition to their bachelor’s by continuing to take classes for another year. Under the program, 12 credits taken in the area of specialization will count toward an M.Ed. in special education (high incidence disabilities), part of UMaine’s 100 percent online master’s in special education program. The M.Ed. degree leads to state certification as a Teacher of Students with Disabilities (K-8 or 7-12). Our program gives teachers the tools to provide high-quality education to students with mild to moderate disabilities such as learning disabilities and/or emotional/behavioral disorders. You’ll learn how to use the latest evidence-based strategies to adapt general education curriculum, and create safe, inclusive and culturally responsive classrooms.

Students who opt to complete the 4+1 program must be willing to attend the +1 year as a full-time student. Once accepted to the program, the UMaine College of Education and Human Development Advising Center will work with the student to create a plan of study that leads to graduation within 15 months after matriculation in the master’s program.

Tuition and fees
For current information about tuition and fees, please visit the Bursar’s office.

To Apply
UMaine students will be invited to apply to the 4+1 program when they apply for teacher candidacy (typically during their second year in the bachelor’s program). Students can begin taking coursework in the area of specialization prior to candidacy, and success in those courses can strengthen their 4+1 application. All students must earn a B- (3.0 GPA) or better in the area of specialization to be considered for the 4+1 program. Interested students will complete an application for “early admission” directly to the 4+1 program. A program of study and conditional admission will be communicated to the Graduate School. Undergraduate students must apply directly to the Graduate School during their senior year for formal admission to the M.Ed. program. Students must matriculate within three months of receiving their bachelor’s degree in order to use the joint credits.

For more information
To learn more about the undergraduate program in elementary education at UMaine, please contact the Advising Center at advisingcenter@maine.edu.

For questions about UMaine’s graduate program in special education, please contact program coordinator Sarah Howorth at 207.581.2448 or sarah.howorth@maine.edu.