FAQs on Alternative Teacher Certification

  1. How is the Certification Program distinct from other education majors?
  2. Why should I choose Husson to prepare me for a teaching career?
  3. What does it take to become a successful teacher?
  4. Are classes conveniently scheduled?
  5. What are the major components of the program?
  6. What professional skills are developed during completion of this program?
  7. What are the admission requirements to apply?
  8. Will Maine state requirements for becoming a certified teacher be fulfilled once I complete the program?
  9. What is a provisional teaching certificate?
  10. What is the difference between an endorsement and certification?
  11. What are the PRAXIS exams?
  12. Why is student teaching so important to my program?
  13. What is the average starting salary for a teacher?
  14. If I have questions and concerns during the completion of my program, what steps should I take?

1. How is the Certification Program distinct from other education majors?
This program is similar to the Elementary Education program in that it prepares individuals for special licensure through the Maine Department of Education to teach in grades K-8 or 7-12 (Bangor campus only), called Pathways II Certification. During the admission process, your application will indicate your status as a "special student." This Certification Program is uniquely for those who already hold an undergraduate degree, but who have a passion for teaching and wish to change careers. Many individuals in this program have previous career experiences in which they have developed skills beneficial to the teaching profession and are eager to influence today's youth through education.

2. Why should I choose Husson to prepare me for a teaching career?
The faculty at the School of Education understands that teaching is a multifaceted, challenging and rewarding profession. We prioritize your success by providing a carefully-designed program that will equip you with the most current knowledge, skills, resources, and professional connections. The Husson faculty is committed to ensuring you will receive a high level of personalized assistance. Our goal is that you would enter your career ready to make a difference in students' lives.

3. What does it take to become a successful teacher?
At Husson, we believe that preparing children for the future requires guidance from incredibly competent and influential teachers. Teachers must be very organized and skilled in order to plan lessons for a variety of interests and abilities. They need to demonstrate patience and enthusiasm while maintaining high performance standards for themselves and the students they teach. Every day, teachers have the opportunity to motivate children to embrace the love of learning in all subject areas. Husson seeks Education students who, themselves, are passionate learners, willing to invest their time and energy in a rewarding career.

4. Are classes conveniently scheduled?
Classes needed for Pathways II certification are scheduled to meet once a week from 4:00-6:30 p.m. They are also available on ICV so they can be taken at Husson's South Portland campus.

5. What are the major components of the program?
The alternative program is comprised of a combination of methods courses and liberal arts requirements. A culminating seminar is taken in conjunction with a semester-long student teaching placement. The majority of students complete the liberal arts and methods coursework during three consecutive semesters, followed by the semester of student-teaching experience.

6. What professional skills are developed during completion of this program?

Besides developing a greater depth and breadth of knowledge in the subject area concentration, students acquire several skills necessary for becoming an excellent teacher. These include:

  • Strategies for lesson planning, lesson delivery, and assessment techniques
  • Professional growth through the habit of reflection
  • Techniques for motivating and engaging students representing diverse backgrounds and special needs
  • Familiarity with typical curriculum expectations
  • Integration of technology and other disciplines
  • Strategies for classroom management
  • Communication with parents and colleagues

7. What are the admission requirements to apply?

  • Completed application form and payment of nonrefundable $40 application fee
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Official college transcript
  • Essay
  • Immunization records


8. Will Maine state requirements for becoming a certified teacher be fulfilled once I complete the program?
The Maine Department of Education requires coursework and internship experiences which are satisfied by our Husson program requirements leading to Endorsement 020: Elementary Teacher. At the Bangor campus only, students can earn a certification in Secondary English, Secondary Life Science, or Secondary Physical Science. Initially, a two-year Provisional certificate is awarded once you have successfully passed the Praxis I and Praxis II and have a background check and mandatory fingerprinting. You can visit Maine's Department of Education website for further information at www.maine.gov/education. Students interested in becoming certified in another state would need to check the specific requirements particular to that state, as laws and regulations vary.

9. What is a provisional teaching certificate?
In Maine, new teachers initially receive a two-year, temporary certification, known as a Provisional certificate. Once you become employed, you work with a local mentor or Certification Support Team. During the two years, you must complete an individualized Teacher Action Plan. If you receive the recommendation of the local Certification Support System, you may advance to the next kind of certification--a Professional certificate renewable every five years. Of course, continuous professional development is expected of all educational professionals.

10. What is the difference between an endorsement and certification?
Certification is a person's license to be an educator. Endorsement is the specific area(s) you are qualified to teach (i.e. secondary education life science, elementary K-8, special education, music education, etc.), which is named on your certificate.

11. What are the PRAXIS exams?
This is a national test you must pass in order to become a certified teacher. All but a few states require it (Maine requires it) as part of your licensing. At Husson, we require our students to successfully pass the Praxis I and II prior to their student teaching experiences. See the Educational Testing Service website www.ets.org for details about these tests.

12. Why is student teaching so important to my program?
The student teaching experiences are arranged with area schools that have agreed to host School of Education students. The placements are coordinated through the School of Education by the Field Placement Director. You will learn the professional realities of day-to-day teaching. You also gain a sense of behind-the-scenes preparation, responsiveness, and decision-making that is necessary throughout a school day. Your range of instructional and classroom management techniques will be broadened as you see them modeled and discuss them throughout your coursework.

13. What is the average starting salary for a teacher?
In Maine, the average annual salary of an entering secondary teacher is around $30,000, plus benefits. District salary scales ensure incremental increases with each additional year of experience.

14. If I have questions and concerns during the completion of my program, what steps should I take?
You will find answers to many common questions in our Student Handbook or at our website. During the program, part of your advisor's role is to answer program questions, discuss your personal concerns, and actively work to problem-solve any issues.