University of Maine at Farmington Special Education student working with children in a school classroom as part of her student teaching assignment.

The University of Maine at Farmington Special Education program prepares you to teach students with disabilities at the elementary and secondary levels. Our program, the only Special Ed. Bachelor of Science degree in Maine, features hands-on experiences in local schools, allowing you to learn the skills necessary to support the success of students with disabilities in inclusive school and community settings.

At the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) you’ll have the opportunity to teach literacy and math, support students in content areas, conduct assessments, design individualized instruction, implement behavioral interventions, collaborate with diverse educational professional and parents, and much more.

UMF works very closely with area schools, providing you numerous (required) opportunities to put into practice the theories and techniques you’ve learned in your classroom.

It’s this kind of real-world, experiential learning that has helped make the University of Maine at Farmington the premier teacher education and public liberal arts college for the state of Maine.

What can I do with a degree in Special Education?

Data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and other sources. Median Salaries for positions in Maine typically fall below those of other New England states.

At Farmington, you’ll get experience inside a real 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 Special Education students with relevant job and volunteer opportunities around the campus and in the Farmington community.

The first component of your UMF Special Education 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. You’ll student-teach in area schools where you’ll work with practicing teachers, school children, and their families.

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

Finally, UMF Special 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, 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 child care center on campus.

Upon graduation you’ll be eligible for teacher certification in Maine and other states. And with new state and federal requirements, there is high demand for Special Education teachers. In fact, many University of Maine at Farmington Special Education students have jobs lined up before they even graduate. Again, the demand for Special Educators is high.

Throughout your journey at UMF, you’ll work closely with truly dedicated faculty who will give you the personal attention to ensure you have a solid foundation for launching your professional career and becoming an advocate, change agent and leader in the field of Special Education. You’ll have an assigned faculty advisor to guide you every step of the way.

See Special Education student Mikayla Sintiris (included in this three-student video) on why she chose Farmington.

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.

More than 150 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.

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.

Assistive Technology is any device or product that makes it easier for someone with a disability to live more independently.

Bright From the Start: The Best Teachers Started at Farmington.

  • 2019 National Education Assoc. Foundation Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence recipient, Dan Ryder, is a UMF Education graduate
  • 2017 Maine Elementary Principal of the Year, Jennifer McGee ’86, is a UMF Education graduate
  • 2017 Maine Teacher of the Year, Tammy Ranger ’99, is a UMF Education graduate
  • 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year, Jennifer Dorman ’93, is a UMF Education graduate
  • 2015 Maine Elementary School Principal of the Year, Tracy Williams ’82, is a UMF Education graduate
  • 2014 Maine Elementary School Principal of the Year, Melanie Ellsworth ’84, is a UMF Education graduate
  • Since 2006 seven UMF Education graduates have been named Maine Teacher 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
  • 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 a National Science Foundation (NSF) Award
  • A UMF Education graduate received the prestigious Apple Design Award
  • UMF was featured as a Great Teaching School

Farmington Education grads get hired.

According to the University of Maine at Farmington’s 2018 teacher education unit alumni survey, 84% of respondents indicate being employed as a teacher in the field and a majority being hired within one year of graduation.

In addition, 98.9% of graduates responding to the survey said they were very satisfied or satisfied with their UMF program.

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.

See Where Our Grads Teach

Save nearly $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 $5,880 per year.

See More About the New England Regional Program Tuition Discount Got questions? Ask a professor in this program

Contact Us

Office of Admissions
University of Maine at Farmington
246 Main Street
Farmington, Maine USA 04938-1994
tel  207-778-7050
fax  207-778-8182
TYY (via Maine Relay Service) dial 711