When people think of the University of Maine at Farmington, they think of the college that produces the best and brightest new teachers. And well they should. We’ve been doing exactly this for nearly 160 years.
UMF is a nationally accredited Education program. We’re one of only three Education programs in Maine to have attained the highest level of accreditation from CAEP, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.
We have an extensive network of placement sites for student teaching and internships. Our field supervisors are full-time instructors with vast experience in working with pre-service teachers to help you develop into a caring, competent, and collaborative professional teacher.
Field experiences are a key component of our programs, with most offering two experiences prior to your semester-long student-teaching assignment. We also offer opportunities to volunteer in local schools and with local agencies.
We provide individual attention. Our faculty work closely with you every step of the way — from your first year through graduation and beyond. They become lifelong mentors, providing valuable professional contacts and after-graduation advice and assistance. They will really be there for you.
Our highly qualified faculty have extensive experience teaching in schools at all levels: early childhood, preschool, elementary, middle, high school, and special education. Many have experience working as program administrators, curriculum specialists, and consultants with state and governmental education agencies.
We have extensive supportive resources for educators: our new on-campus state-of-the-art Early Childhood Lab School, Curriculum Lab, Assistive Technology Center, Everyone’s Resource Depot and more.
Our Education Programs
*Note: These UMF Education programs qualify for a tuition discount of nearly $5,000 through the New England Regional Student Program (programs vary by state).
See some recent Education graduates, now working as teachers and education supervisors, describe why they chose Farmington.
At Farmington, you’ll get experience inside a real school classroom setting early and often. In fact, your first teacher-side-of-the-desk experience will typically happen in your second (sophomore) year
Here, we connect our Education students with relevant job and volunteer opportunities around the campus and in the Farmington community.
The first component of each Farmington teacher preparation program is the First Year Experience, where you take an introductory course specific to the age group you want to work with as a professional. This allows you to also begin getting experience in the field in your very first year at UMF.
The second component is Practicum. Here, in your sophomore year, you combine coursework in teaching methodology with significant time spent working, teaching and learning in a public school classroom or early childhood setting.
Next, is the senior capstone experience, Student Teaching — an immersive 16-week program where you’ll work in a professional capacity in a public school or early childhood setting with mentoring by UMF faculty and a mentor-teacher in the field.
“When I was a UMF student, I did my Early Childhood Education internship right here at Spring Point Child Care Center in South Portland. Having those real-world, in-classroom hours and being able to say I have firsthand experience working in a classroom and being mentored by experienced teachers was so valuable.”
– Allyson Conley, Director at Spring Point Children’s Center
Student Teaching is a capstone experience for Education students
The senior capstone experience, Student Teaching — is an immersive 16-week program where you’ll work in a professional capacity in a public school setting with mentoring by UMF faculty and a mentor-teacher in the field.
Our Education students describe their senior year Student Teaching assignment as the most meaningful experience of their UMF career. It’s when they’re teamed with a mentor school teacher (often a UMF alumnus) and they get to put into practice in a school classroom what they’ve learned in their UMF college classes.
Finally, UMF Education students participate in a Portfolio Presentation. Each UMF teacher candidate produces and presents to faculty, staff, fellow UMF students, and the public a professional portfolio of their work including lesson plans, assessments, teaching samples and more.
Our campus is conveniently located in the heart of the local K-12 school district, within walking distance to the local elementary school and middle school, and a short drive to the Mt. Blue Regional High School / Foster Career & Technical Center Campus. We even have an early childhood childcare center on campus.
Farmington Education grads get hired.
According to a 2020 survey of UMF Education graduates over the past three years, 83% of respondents indicated being employed in the field of education, with 85% hired within a year of graduation and 73% employed within four months of graduation. Overall, 94.3% of respondents indicated they were Very Satisfied or Satisfied with their teacher education preparation at UMF.
Investing in Education
The demand for competent, professional educators of young children vastly outpaces the pool of job candidates.
This is where the University of Maine at Farmington comes in.
Maine’s Governor, supported by the Maine Legislature and authorized by the University of Maine System Board of Trustees, is investing the state’s share of federal American Rescue Plan relief funds into Early Childhood Education. Where is this investment happening? At the University of Maine at Farmington.
To help meet that need, UMF is renovating a former call center at 274 Front Street (right across the street from campus) into the future home of its nationally accredited Sweatt-Winter Child Care and Early Education Center.
Previously, the Sweatt-Winter expansion project received $1.4 million from a bond for UMaine System workforce development infrastructure approved by voters statewide in 2018. The Lennox Foundation also contributed $100,000.
Expected to open in the Fall of 2023, the new 10,384 square foot state-of-the-art child care and academic facility will allow UMF to create at least 20 slots for high-quality infant and toddler care in Franklin County, and increase enrollment in its undergraduate and graduate Early Childhood Education programs by at least 20% in support of critical state workforce needs in the sector that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
This larger facility will replace and greatly expand the existing Sweatt-Winter Child Care and Early Education Center (which is at capacity), located on campus.
The NEW facility will be your new state-of-the-art learning & working lab — right across the street from campus.
Here, you’ll work with young children and their families, mentoring UMF professors and other professionals as you gain the real-world, hands-on experience and skill set employers are desperately seeking.
This is where classroom theory meets real education practice — you’ll experience first-hand why UMF Works.
The University of Maine at Farmington is considered one of the premier teacher education programs in New England.
At our founding in 1864, the University of Maine at Farmington (then called Western State Normal School) took an innovative approach to teacher education, integrating a strong liberal arts foundation into teacher training. Our founders believed that only those with a strong background in the liberal arts could effectively teach the arts and sciences. Obvious as that may seem, it was not the rule among teacher education programs of the time.
Nearly 160 years later, the University of Maine at Farmington continues to be recognized for its innovation and excellence in teacher preparation.
- UMF is one of only three nationally accredited teacher education programs in Maine
- UMF was the first in Maine to receive national CAEP accreditation (formerly known as NCATE)
- UMF received full Maine State Board of Education accreditation
- UMF full-time faculty supervise you in your off-campus practicum and student-teaching field experiences
The UMF Center for Assistive Technology is the only public or private university-based assistive technology lending and demonstration center in Maine.
Assistive Technology is any device or product that makes it easier for someone with a disability to live more independently. Here, you’ll have full access to specialized on-campus education-focused resources such as UMF’s Children’s Programs and our Spenciner Curriculum Materials Center, which includes assistive technology resources, children’s literature, and early childhood curricula.
The University of Maine at Farmington teacher education programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Education Programs (CAEP), effective Spring 2018 to Spring 2025. UMF was the first program in Maine to receive this higher and more rigorous standard of national accreditation.
CAEP (formerly known as NCATE) is a professional accreditor that reviews departments, schools, and colleges that prepare teachers and other educators. After completing a program, teachers seek licensure or certification from the state in which they wish to teach. The scope of CAEP’s work is the accreditation of educator preparation providers having programs leading to certification/licensure, bachelor’s, master’s, post-baccalaureate, and doctoral degrees in the United States and internationally.
The CAEP Standards and their components flow from two principles:
- Solid evidence that the provider’s graduates are competent and caring educators, and
- There must be solid evidence that the provider’s educator staff has the capacity to create a culture of evidence and use it to maintain and enhance the quality of the professional programs they offer.
The five CAEP Standards, below, flow from these guiding principles and the standards of evidence that define them are the backbone of the accreditation process. They define quality in terms of organizational performance and serve as the basis for accreditation reviews and judgments.
- Standard 1: Content and Pedagogical Knowledge
- Standard 2: Clinical Partnerships and Practice
- Standard 3: Candidate Quality, Recruitment, and Selectivity
- Standard 4: Program Impact
- Standard 5: Provider Quality, Continuous Improvement, and Capacity
Maine State Board of Education-Accredited
UMF received full approval for state accreditation, including several commendations, from the Maine State Board of Education.
The Maine State Board of Education commended UMF for the staffing of its educator preparation program with full-time faculty. It said UMF is unique in the fact that all field supervisors who mentor and oversee pre-service teachers in schools around the state are full-time faculty who can model the best in professional practices.
The Maine review also commended UMF for its dedication to assistive technology through our Spenciner Curriculum Materials Center. Located in the Kalikow Education Center and available to all UMF Education students, the Spenciner Curriculum Materials Center is connected to the Maine Dept. of Education CITE Program, houses an extensive collection of assistive technology devices such as adaptive gaming controllers and 3-D printers that are available to loan to students, educators and the general public.
These resources can help all children, including those with disabilities, succeed in the classroom. The report noted the facility is “a remarkable resource for the students, faculty and the larger community, encouraging inclusive practice with state-of-the-art materials and equipment.”
The Best Teachers Start at Farmington
- UMF Education graduates have been named Maine Teacher of the Year
- UMF Education graduates have been named Maine Elementary School Principal of the Year
- UMF Education graduates have received the U.S. Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
- UMF Education graduates have received the prestigious Milken Family Foundation Educator Award
- UMF Education graduates have been named Maine History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehman Institute of America
- UMF Education graduates received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Award
- A UMF Education graduate is an Adult Space Camp graduate and earned certification at the Google Teacher Academy in London
- A UMF Education graduate received the prestigious Apple Design Award