To address the severe shortage of special educators in school districts across Maine, the UMF Special Ed Alternate Route to Certification (SPARC) offers a program of on-line courses taught by experienced Special Education faculty and professionals.

The UMF Special Ed Alternate Route to Certification (SPARC) program’s foundation is rooted in one major principle: The credits in the program must focus on specific sets of skills and bodies of knowledge relevant to Special Educators. To ensure we offer what is needed, we turned to leaders in the special education field, who designed this SPARC program.


Maine requires 24 credits of coursework for Special Education 282 Certification. Participants in the Alternate Route to Certification program may take eight courses or only selected courses, depending on how many credits they need to reach the required 24 credits.


UMF Special Ed Alternate Route to Certification (SPARC) courses are open to all practicing Special Education educators holding a baccalaureate degree, including in-service educators, those working in Birth to Age 5 intervention settings, Ed Techs, and others. The UMF SPARC program include twelve online graduate courses are offered on a rotating schedule.  For this program, there is no need to apply for admission to UMF. Participants must have access to students with special needs in order to complete assignments for courses.

Course Schedule

Spring 2016 Courses

Summer 2016 Courses

  • SED 504 Collaborative Partnerships Among Individuals With Disabilities, Families and Professionals
  • SED 511 Mathematics Instruction for Students with Disabilities
  • SED 513 Early Childhood Speech and Language: Development, Disorders and Interventions
  • SED 514 Literacy Development for All Students
  • SED 518 Special Education Law

Fall 2016 Courses

  • SED 506 Assessment in Special Education
  • SED 508 Classroom and Behavior Management of Students with Disabilities
  • SED 517 Professional Ethics, Cultural Competence, and Evidence-based Practices in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education

Find more information on the above courses here