Why UMF for middle/secondary education?
UMF traces its history to 1864, when it became selected the first public institution in Maine dedicated to the preparation of teachers. The college has changed over the years, but UMF is still home to the best program in Maine for aspiring teachers.
The UMF campus is marked by diversity in both its courses and its student body. Rated one of “America’s Best Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report, UMF is one of the most competitive public liberal arts colleges in the Northeast. We draw students from all over Maine, New England, and beyond, including a thriving community of international students.
UMF’s classes are generally small, but its opportunities are large. Our faculty are unusually informal and accessible, giving UMF the flavor of a small campus, but our affiliation with the seven-campus University of Maine System provides the resources of a large university.
As a teacher of mathematics or computer science, yout will help prepare students to meet the technical and personal challenges of living in the 21st century. There are few professions which can have such an effect on our future.
Planning to teach mathematics?
Prepare yourself to be in demand. You are entering a field suffering shortages of qualified teachers throughout the United States. National projections list education as one of the fastest growing fields in the next ten years, with 1.3 million positions available. Upon completing this program, you will qualify for certification to teach grades 7-12 in Maine, many other states, and Washington, D.C.
What will you study?
As a secondary education major with a concentration in mathematics, the courses you take will fall into four categories: general education requirements, courses in theory and practice of education, courses in your academic concentration (mathematics) and electives.
Four of the ten courses you will take during your first year are in the foundation areas of science, social science, composition, and health. These courses provide a solid base on which you will build the rest of your program.
With the help of your advisor, you will probably choose introductory courses in education, psychology, and mathematics to fill out your first-year schedule and get started on the requirements for your major. You may also enroll in one or two courses to satisfy general education distribution and skills requirements.
Distribution courses in the humanities, science, social science, math, and foreign language provide an overview of studies in other disciplines. Skills credits ensure you get the practice you need in five areas: writing, cultural accommodation, public presentation, research and technology. (Many of the courses you take toward your major and distribution requirements will also satisfy your skills requirements.)
Working in your field before graduation…
Many future teachers studying at UMF consider practice teaching, tutoring, volunteering in schools, or interning in their academic fields to be highlights of their years in college. You may be surprised by the number of opportunities you have to make a difference while still in school.
Often, students try out their teaching skills during their first year by tutoring, volunteering in area schools, or working in facilities such as the computer center on campus. During your 2nd and 3rd years, you will benefit from field experiences in area classrooms. Later in your academic program, hands-on learning will be more formal as you begin supervised student teaching. You will work alongside expert teachers in local schools while discussing what you learn with UMF’s field supervisors.
The latest technology:
At UMF you will enjoy one of the best computer centers found at any small college in New England. The UMF Computer Center is open seven days a week and features state-of-the-art computer hardware and software as well as a 24-hour student-access laboratory which provides PC and Mac desktop computers and printers. You will find the UMF Computer Center especially beneficial as you prepare a career in secondary education: mathematics.
Here’s a sample of some of the courses you may take if you major in this program:
- Secondary Mathematics Education
- Internet in the K-12 Classrooms
- Computers in the Classroom
- Calculus I
- Differential Equations
- Data Analysis
- College Geometry
- Abstract Algebra
- Mathematical Problem Solving