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 fourteen 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 2015 Courses

  • SED 503 Transition from High School to Adult Life for Students with Disabilities
  • SED 505 Achieving High Standards with Universal Design and Assistive Technology
  • SED 507 Curriculum and Instructional Programming for Students with Disabilities
  • SED 515 Early Intervention: Working with Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities and Their Families
  • SED 516 Advanced Topics in Curriculum and Program Design: Mild to Moderate Disabilities

Course Descriptions

More Information

  • Most courses are appropriate for Pre-K through grade 12 educators
  • SED 503 is not appropriate for Birth-Age 5 teachers
  • SED 508 is not appropriate for Birth-Age 3 teachers