Teaching children and youth who have disabilities requires specialized skills and a strong desire to help others. UMF’s Department of Special Education prepares teachers of children and youth who have mild to moderate disabilities in the areas of emotional disturbance (ED), learning disabilities (LD), and mental retardation (MR). Early childhood special education (ECS) prepares teachers to work with young children with special needs. Graduates from the ECS, LD, ED, and MR programs are certified by the State of Maine and are able to obtain certification in nearly all other states.
The programs are dedicated to preparing well educated individuals as well as competent beginning teachers. All students take about half of their credits in arts and sciences including a concentration in an area of personal interest. In addition, each program provides ample practicum experiences with children to enable students to convert theory into practice. Students typically take practica during both the sophomore and junior years, and student teach for a full semester during their senior year. Students majoring in Special Education have many opportunities to work with children and youth in various programs throughout the community. There are several early childhood programs on Campus including the University of Maine at Farmington Nursery School and the Early Intervention Play Group.