LEWISTON – The Collaborative Learning And School Success professional teacher program at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College has announced the achievement of candidacy status for five of its students.

Paula Billings, Bridget Fitzgerald, Sean Moore, Stacey Potvin and Tammy Watson have completed scholarly and practicum work in the elementary education field attaining proficiency in child development, content knowledge, technology, diversity, educational philosophy and professionalism. The students will continue to study and research the elementary education field at the graduate level.

Dr. Paul G. Caron, assistant professor of education, said that during candidacy the students work with mentor teachers at two professional development partner schools in Auburn: Sherwood Heights Elementary School and Auburn Middle School.

“Based on the concept of simultaneous renewal, both the mentor teachers and candidates collaborate to create and apply learning curricula and practices based on current research.” Added Caron, “They share their knowledge and talents in creating effective learning environments benefiting all students.”

In addition to attending regular classes for their academic major, the candidates spend 1 days a week at one of the partner schools and devote at least four to five hours with students in the classroom.

The candidates are beginning the process of making connections between what they have learned and what they see in the classroom. Achieving candidacy status gives the students more time to practice the theories they have researched and studied.

Upon completion of the candidacy period, the students work as teaching interns for a full year under the guidance of mentors. Students graduate with a bachelor’s degree in a content area, a state teaching certificate for grades kindergarten through eight and 36 graduate credits.

Applications for fall admission to the program are being accepted. More information is available online at www.usm.maine.edu/lac/class or by calling Jim at 753-6618. An informational session and open house on the program will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 28.

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