The University of Maine at Farmington’s Early Childhood Education Off-Campus program at Southern Maine Community College offers working professionals in the greater Portland area a unique opportunity to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from UMF.
Designed specifically for working professionals, this off-campus program allows you to complete your Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education, offering both Birth to 5 and K to 3 certification. Classes are held weekday evenings or on weekends (Friday evenings and Saturdays) at Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) in South Portland. Most courses use a hybrid format — a combination of face-to-face and online classes.
Early Childhood Education courses that form the foundation of a UMF Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education are taught by University of Maine at Farmington faculty at Southern Maine Community College.
The coursework prepares you for Maine Birth to Five (081) and K-3 (029) Certification. General Education courses required for this bachelor’s degree can be taken at a campus of your choice.
Early Childhood Education – A White-Hot Career Path
Pre-COVID, the job market for Early Childhood Education teachers was hot. During and after COVID, the state of Maine and indeed the nation, saw the need for Early Childhood professionals reach an all-time peak in demand. Right now, it’s a white-hot job market for Early Childhood Educators with no end in sight.
See some working adults and students who earned a UMF Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Ed through the Off-Campus program describe why they chose Farmington.
Working adults can, and do, earn a University of Maine at Farmington Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Ed.
Many completed their degree through our Off-campus Cohort Program held on the Southern Maine Community College campus and online. Others earned it through the traditional in-person model. See recent Early Childhood Ed graduates, now teachers and education supervisors, describe how earning their UMF degree in Early Childhood Ed fit their busy lifestyle. Make a difference. Be a teacher.
Simply put, 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, partnering with Southern Maine Community College, come 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. 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.
“One of the highest priorities for higher education is preparing the next generation of educators,” said UMaine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy. “Maine families have to have access to reliable child care and great local schools. We are investing in programs and facilities that can help meet that need.”
What Can You Do With A Degree in Early Childhood Education?
Graduates of our Early Childhood Education program are eligible for jobs in a variety of settings, including childcare, Head Start, pre-Kindergarten, community and recreational programs and grades K-3 in public and private schools.
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% of them employed in just four months after graduating.
Overall, 94.3% of respondents indicated they were Very Satisfied or Satisfied with their teacher education preparation at UMF.
This program will prepare you to be eligible for licensure in the State of Maine. Visit the UMaine System State Authorization & Licensure page to learn more about the licensure requirements in other states and territories, in addition to the contact information needed to inquire further into the licensure requirements associated with this program.
“One of the biggest benefits of the Off-Campus Cohort program was that as a working parent here in Portland, I didn’t have to move to Farmington to get my UMF Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Ed. This is program designed for working people – especially working childcare teachers, like I was. If it hadn’t been for this program I probably wouldn’t have been able to earn a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Ed. And now I’m working on my Master’s degree at Farmington.”
– Zahra Mahamud, Education Tech specializing in Math and Literacy at Presumpscot Elementary School in PortlandSee Where Else Our Education Grads Teach
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 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 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 graduate received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Award
- UMF Education graduate is an Adult Space Camp graduate and earned certification at the Google Teacher Academy in London
- UMF Education graduate received the prestigious Apple Design Award
Steps in the Admission Process
Step 1. Apply
To start, you first need to apply to the University of Maine at Farmington using the ApplyMaine Application.
The application requires an essay. An appropriate focus for the essay would be (1) How a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education will further your professional goals and (2) Why you have selected the Off-Campus bachelor’s degree program.
Step 2. Have Your Transcripts Mailed Directly to Us
Next, have your official transcripts mailed to us. We need your official college transcripts mailed to the University of Maine System Application Processing center directly from the institution. (See address below.)
Have your transcripts mailed to:
University of Maine System
P.O. Box 412
Bangor, ME 04402-0412
The University of Maine at Farmington CEEB Code is 3506.
Note: Once all your materials have been received, the UMF Admission Office will work in conjunction with the program in making the decision on each applicant.
Financial aid opportunities may be available through the University of Maine at Farmington, and Maine Roads to Quality. Qualifications and deadlines for these sources vary.
University of Maine at Farmington
Financial Aid Office
224 Main Street
Farmington, Maine 04938
FAME (Finance Authority of Maine)
Educators for Maine Loan Program
Maine Roads to Quality
Academic advising will be provided by on-site faculty, via phone and through email. You will be advised individually on the basis of your academic records.
Coordinator and Advisor of the Early Childhood Cohort Program
Theo Kalikow Education Center
186 High Street
Farmington, Maine 04938
Southern Maine Community College in South Portland.
Classes are held on weekday evenings or on weekends (Friday evenings and Saturdays).
Candidates eligible for this special field-based program are working professionals with an Associate degree in Early Childhood Education or equivalent.
You must hold an Associate degree in Early Childhood Education or equivalent. The minimum cumulative GPA for applicants to this program is 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale).Got questions? Ask a professor in this program
Office of Admissions
University of Maine at Farmington
246 Main Street
Farmington, Maine USA 04938-1994
TYY (via Maine Relay Service) dial 711