FARMINGTON — University of Maine at Farmington professor Patty Williams has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the University of Maine System to create a “Pathways to Teaching for Adult Learners” program, according to a UMF news release.

The program is designed to support adults interested in returning to school to pursue a career in teaching.

Williams is an associate professor of early childhood education and chair of the UMF Division for Elementary, Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education. She is offering the new program in collaboration with Franklin County Adult Education and the University of Maine at Machias, with the goal of meeting the needs of adult learners to become quality educators while also helping to ease Maine’s teacher shortage.

Williams looks forward to collaborating with the Machias campus and Franklin County Adult Education partners in developing programs and pathways to help adults pursue careers in teaching.

“I’m really excited about the prospect of expanding on the work we already do in our education programs to outreach to more adult learners, especially those who may have started a degree but were unable to finish,” Williams said. “Our off-campus early childhood B.S. program has been really successful in helping those employed as educational technicians and assistant teachers in early care settings work towards certification as teachers of children ages birth to five and K-3. The hybrid format offers UMF courses online and in-person at Southern Maine Community College.”

For more information or to schedule an information session about the program, contact Williams at [email protected] or 207-778-7109.