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Students listen to faculty in a school of education class

FAQs on Elementary Education

Why should I choose Husson to prepare me for a career in the field of education?

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.

What does it take to become a successful elementary 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.

How is a major in Elementary Education distinct from other education majors?

The Elementary Education program prepares individuals for certification in grades K-8. Because these teachers must understand the developmental needs of children, courses emphasize how to work effectively with various characteristics that young students demonstrate. Unlike secondary majors, the required methods courses span several subject areas because elementary teachers typically teach all subjects of a particular grade level. Students are required to select at least one subject area for a concentration.

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 science with technology and other disciplines
  • Strategies for classroom management
  • Communication with parents and colleagues

What are the admission requirements to apply?

  • Completed application form and payment of nonrefundable $40 application fee
  • Official high school transcript(s) or equivalency certificate and test scores, reflecting solid academic standing
  • SAT or ACT scores
  • Guidance counselor recommendation
  • Immunization records
  • Note: Transfer students must provide transcripts from all previous colleges or universities attended.

Will Maine state requirements for becoming a certified elementary 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 that lead to Endorsement 020: Elementary Teacher. Initially, a two-year Provisional certificate is awarded once an individual also successfully passes the Praxis I and Praxis II and has a background check and mandatory fingerprinting. You can visit Maine's Department of Education website for further information. Students interested in becoming certified in another state would need to check the specific requirements particular to that state, as laws and regulations vary.

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 type of certification -- a Professional certificate renewable every five years. Of course, continuous professional development is expected of all educational professionals.

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-6, special education, music education, etc.), which is named on your certificate.

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. The Praxis exams focus upon the areas of reading, writing, and mathematics. You can get more information about this test from your advisor.

Why are the field experiences, including student teaching, so important to my program?

Field experiences are arranged with area schools which have agreed to host School of Education students. The placements are coordinated through the School of Education by the Clinical Placement Director. You will begin to learn the professional realities of day-to-day teaching by observing and participating in your field experiences. You also gain a sense of behind-the-scenes preparation, responsiveness, and decision-making that is necessary throughout a school day. Early in your program, your field experiences may help you to better solidify your commitment to pursuing a career in education. You will broaden your range of instructional and classroom management techniques as you see them modeled and discuss them with teachers and throughout your coursework.

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.

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.