Maine Alternative Teacher Certification

In order to attract more qualified teachers to the classroom, the state of Maine has developed alternative routes to teacher certification for college graduates wishing to pursue a career in education. Alternative teacher preparation programs, also known as non-traditional programs, are designed for those who have a bachelor’s degree outside of education and typically lead to the award of a certificate or master’s degree. If you don’t yet have a bachelor’s degree visit our guide to traditional certification in Maine. Continue reading to find out more about alternative options available in the state.

Requirements for Alternative Certification

Prospective educators looking to become certified to teach in Maine via an alternative route must have at least a bachelor’s degree. For most subjects, candidates must also return to school to complete teacher preparation. Maine teacher preparation programs typically lead to the award of a master’s degree in education, or in a core subject that includes an approved certification program.

Types of Alternative Teaching Licenses in Maine

There are three main pathways to alternative teacher certification in Maine. The preferred pathway is to attend a teacher preparation program, such as the Extended Teacher Education Program. For more information on these pathways or for a transcript evaluation, contact the Maine Department of Education.

Extended Teacher Education Program

Offered through the University of Southern Maine, the Extended Teacher Education Program (ETEP) provides prospective teachers with an intensive one- to two-year curriculum of teacher preparation with content-specific courses as well as classes in educational pedagogy. Graduates are eligible for teacher certification in Maine and earn a Master of Science in Education from the program. Candidates should have strong academic backgrounds and have posted a passing score on the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam. For more information, contact the University of Southern Maine.

Conditional Certification

Candidates who have a bachelor’s degree and have completed specific coursework in education but did not complete traditional teacher preparation may pursue Conditional certification in Maine. This pathway requires that candidates be recommended for a certificate by a school district, which may only request a certificate for a candidate if no qualified and properly licensed teachers can be found for an open position. To graduate to standard certification, candidates must successfully teach for at least one year and also pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators, Principles of Learning and Teaching, and Praxis content area exams.

Career and Technical Education Certification

Maine offers alternative Career and Technical Education (CTE) Certification for select career subjects in grades 9 through 12. Candidates must have at least one year of paid work experience in the career subject, be licensed if licensing is available in that career area, and either pass the appropriate Praxis content-area exam or take four approved pedagogical courses in CTE. Other work experience and education combinations may be acceptable as a pathway to CTE licensure. For more information, contact the Maine Department of Education.

Testing Requirements for Maine Alternative Certification

To ensure that educators are highly qualified, alternative route candidates must usually pass the same exams as traditional route candidates: the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators, Principles of Learning and Teaching, and Praxis II content area exams. Those attending alternative teacher preparation schools will usually be required to take the Praxis Core exam before being admitted to the program.

Transferring Teaching Licenses from Another State

Teachers who are licensed to teach in another state may be eligible for certification in Maine provided that they provide documentation of their certification and teaching experience. However, Maine does not offer traditional reciprocity. Out-of-state candidates must request a credential evaluation from the Maine Department of Education before a certificate can be issued.

Schools with Alternative and Master’s Programs in Maine

Because a program that has not been approved by the state is unlikely to lead to licensure, it’s important to ensure that the programs you are considering meet state requirements. The school-based teacher certification programs below lead to a certificate or master’s degree and have been approved by the Maine Department of Education (MDOE).

  • Eastern Maine Community College (Certificate–CTE only)
  • Husson University* (Alternative, Certificate)
  • Maine College of Art (Master’s)
  • Saint Joseph’s College of Maine* (Alternative, Master’s)
  • University of Maine-Augusta (Certificate), Farmington* (Alternative, Certificate), Orono* (Alternative, Certificate, Master’s), Presque Isle (Certificate)
  • University of Southern Maine (Master’s)

*Schools with an asterisk offer programs that can include paid classroom placements, subject to qualifications and experience. The student may be responsible for securing their own placement. Contact program(s) of interest for further information.

Additional Resources

1. Maine Department of Education: https://www.maine.gov/doe/cert/