ELEMENTARY EDUCATION


The Elementary Education program is designed to help build the dispositions, knowledge and skills our students need to become caring teachers, competent educators, and confident professionals. Teacher candidates participate in a sequence of courses aligned with national standards and designed to provide students with background knowledge and practical experience working with children in kindergarten through grade eight (K-8). For a full description, visit the UMF catalog.

How do I explore Elementary Education at UMF?

There are many ways to explore a major. You could:

  • Review the webpage for this major.
  • Talk to faculty members in the major. Ask about their career path.
  • Sit in on a class in this major. Choose a class of interest and contact the faculty member to find out which day might be best to drop in on. If you have access to myCampus, click here to go to Schedule Planner to view classes.
  • Talk with upperclass students in the major. They can give you insights into the courses you will take and professors who will instruct you. Just remember, their reasons for liking a major may be different from your own. Ask your advisor, your CA or other UMF staff to help you find someone in the major.
  • Enroll in one of the following courses:
    • EDU 125 Introduction to Theory and Practice in K-8 Education and EDU 280 Diversity & Social Justice Education K-8 (each are 2-credit courses)
    • PSY 225S Child and Adolescent Development
  • Get involved with a Club & Organization related to the major (for example, Student Education Association of Maine (S.E.A.M.) or Council for Exceptional Children).
  • Volunteer or intern with an organization that is aligned with this major. Contact Joe Austin at The Partnership for Civic Advancement, or Career Counselors Stephen Davis or Cyndi McShane to discuss opportunities.
  • Try a Job Shadow or Informational Interview. Contact Stephen Davis or Cyndi McShane for more information.
  • Make an appointment to talk to a Career Counselor (Steve or Cyndi) or Academic Advisor (Lori Soucie) about the major.

What can I do with this major?

Learn more about the major using this resource maintained by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington: http://www.uncw.edu/career/WhatCanIDoWithaMajorIn.html

Can I minor in Elementary Education? Are there related majors at UMF?

UMF has a minor in Special Education that is open to Early Childhood, Elementary, Secondary, or Community Health Education with School Health  Education concentration majors. There is also a Child and Adolescent Health minor available as well as minors in Elementary content areas (Language Arts, Science, Math, Social Science). Click here for more information. Majors related to Elementary Education include Early Childhood Education, Early Childhood Special Education, Special Education, Secondary/Middle Education, and Community Health Education/Teaching Concentration in School Health.

What kind of jobs have UMF graduates obtained with this major?

Kindergarten through Grade 8 Teachers, Education & Special Services Manager, Assistant Director of Curriculum and Assessment Development,  as well as positions outside of schools such as Staffing Specialist, IT Project Manager, Senior Director of Youth Development, Educational Technology Specialist, Educational Trainer and Coach, Communication Specialist & Certified Trainer, and others.

What other career paths can I pursue?

Other career paths include Social Worker, Child Therapist, Education Administrator, Education Technician, School Guidance Counselor, Gifted and Talented Teacher, Special Education Teacher, and many more. Talking to faculty in the major or a career counselor can provide you with more information about a variety of career paths associated with this major.

How do I declare this major?

The first step is to communicate with the contact person for this major:  Dr. Patricia Williams, Education Center, patricia.h.williams@maine.edu, 207-778-7109.

To apply to the major, students must pick up appropriate application materials from Mary Melcher, Administrative Specialist in the Early Childhood Department, room 337A Education Center. Complete a Program/Plan Change Form (available in Merrill Center or outside room 337A Education Center) and include an articulate essay about why you want to work in elementary education.  You’ll need a minimum GPA of 2.75, and passing scores on the PRAXIS Core exams.

Recommended deadlines for review are October 1st and March 1st although applications are accepted year round.


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