The University of Maine at Farmington educator preparation program recently announced that it has received national accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. UMF is the first institution in Maine to meet the new, rigorous national accreditation standards, according to a news release from the university.

UMF also has received full approval for state accreditation, including several commendations, from the Maine State Board of Education, according to the release.

A longtime leader in Maine and one of the premier teacher education programs in New England, the UMF program has been noted for providing pre-service teachers with a unique educational experience that maximizes career preparation and post-graduation success, according to the release.

The council review recognized the UMF program for providing students with effective learning opportunities in and out of the classroom that help prepare them for a career in teaching. The UMF program passed the rigorous peer review on all five council standards, which are based on the principles that its graduates are competent, caring educators and its faculty have the capacity to maintain and enhance the quality of the professional programs.

The council is the sole nationally recognized accrediting body for educator preparation. UMF’s accreditation runs from 2018 to 2025.

Notably, the council recognized the university for its strong relationship with the community and how this mutual commitment enriches the student experience through activities, resources and support for educational improvement. In addition, the review applauded the university’s teacher preparation program for the quality of its candidates from recruitment through certification, according to the release.

UMF’s teacher preparation program provides students with field experience, early and often, with student teaching, practicum and internships boasting an average of 329 students in formal placements in schools around the state annually.

These experiences prepare educators for the real classroom and create a statewide demand for UMF graduates while helping to support educational partnerships at more than 130 Maine schools annually, not including early childhood and infant centers.

In its overall approval of the UMF program, the Maine State Board of Education also commended the university for its commitment to staff its educator preparation program with full time faculty. It observed that UMF is unique in the fact that all field supervisors who mentor and oversee preservice teachers in schools around the state are full time faculty that can model the best in professional practices.

The Maine review also commended UMF for its dedication to assistive technology within the Spenciner Curriculum Materials Center. The center, connected to the Maine Department of Education CITE Program, houses an extensive collection of assistive technology devices such as adaptive gaming controllers and 3-D printers that are available to loan to students, educators and the general public.

These resources can help all children, including those with disabilities, succeed in the classroom. The report noted the facility is “a remarkable resource for the students, faculty, and the larger community encouraging inclusive practice with state of the art materials and equipment,” according to the release.

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