The University of Maine at Farmington Early Childhood Special Education program prepares you to work with young children with special needs and their families in a variety of settings.
Early Childhood Special Education – A White-Hot Career Path
Pre-COVID, the job market for Early Childhood Special Education teachers was hot. During and after COVID, the state of Maine and indeed the nation, saw the need for Early Childhood Special Education professionals reach an all-time peak in demand. Right now, it’s a white-hot job market for Early Childhood Special Educators with no end in sight.
See some recent Early Childhood Special Ed and Early Childhood Ed graduates, now teachers or education supervisors, describe why they chose Farmington.
Want to make a difference? Be a teacher in Early Childhood Special Education by earning your Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Special Ed at the University of Maine at Farmington. You’ll work closely with very young children with special needs (from infants to grade three) and their families at our new on-campus Childhood Lab School where you’ll gain the knowledge and real-world experience employers are seeking.
The job demand for Early Childhood Special Ed teachers is huge with no end in sight. And our grads get hired. The UMF Bachelor’s degree program in Early Childhood Special Education is a high quality program that offers extensive experiences in children’s settings. Make a difference. Be a teacher.
Simply put, the demand for competent, professional educators of young children with special needs vastly outpaces the pool of job candidates. This is where the University of Maine at Farmington comes in.
Choose one of three Early Childhood Special Education options:
- Option I – Birth to 5 certification coursework and field experiences leading to Maine Teacher Certification, Endorsement 282: Teacher of Children with Disabilities (Birth to school-age five).
- Option II – Birth to 5 and K-3 certification coursework and field experiences leading to Endorsement 282: Teacher of Children with Disabilities (Birth to school-age five) and Endorsement 029: Early Elementary (Kindergarten through grade 3).
- Option III – coursework and field experiences leading to a degree in Early Childhood Special Education without teacher certification.
Investing in Early Childhood Education
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.”
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.
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, your 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.
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.
“My degree in Early Childhood Special Ed at UMF helped me tremendously. I did two practicums here at Educare and knew right away that preschool was the age group for me. My practicum exposed me to what they do here and I got to work with the kids and their families. It really set me up for success and made me want to teach here and work with young children, some of whom have special needs.”
– Mattie Jernigan Supervising Teacher, Educare of Central Maine
See Where Else Our Grads Teach
Our Early Childhood Special Education program focuses on child development, with an emphasis on infants, toddlers and preschoolers with special needs.
Our program is based on National Association for the Education of Young Children standards for teacher preparation and is CAEP accredited. One of the things that makes our Early Childhood Special Education program distinctive is that it features extensive, hands-on, fieldwork experiences.
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.See More About Student Teaching
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
Want to save more than $6,000 per year in tuition? This University of Maine at Farmington program qualifies for the New England Regional Program tuition discount.
This price break is for residents of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont for the 2023-2024 academic year — a savings of more than $6,000.See More About the New England Regional Program Tuition Discount 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