LEWISTON – Aspiring teachers who have already earned college credits may qualify for “special student status” in the Collaborative Learning and School Success professional teacher preparation program at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College.

Over the course of the last two to three years the faculty have been engaged in a process to investigate how to better meet the needs of transfer students who wish to obtain grade kindergarten to eighth-grade teacher certification at USM/L-A.

The CLASS program’s developmental, field-based structure is such that some of the students may be discouraged from enrolling in the program due to its required nine-semester scope and sequence of courses and fieldwork.

As a result, the CLASS program has piloted a modified scope and sequence for selected transfer students who already have a significant number of college credits. If admitted, the students would qualify for “special student status” that would allow them to complete the program in less time than the four and a half years required of new students.

Due to the variety in the number and types of college credits that prospective applicants would bring to the university, it is impossible to predict the length of each student’s program. After a transfer evaluation is completed, each student will work with the CLASS academic adviser to develop an individualized program.

Anyone interested in learning more about the option is encouraged to call Jim at 753-6618 or e-mail him at [email protected] More information is also available on-line at www.usm.maine.edu/lac/class.

An information session on the program will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, at USM/L-A, Westminster Street. It will be an opportunity to meet with college and partner school faculty, as well as with students in the program.

The CLASS program is a rigorous, nontraditional undergraduate program that prepares students for careers in the classroom. It consists of work in an academic major and professional teacher preparation.

Students are placed in local partner schools immediately and partnered with a mentor teacher. Upon completion of the program, students will have earned their bachelor’s degree in a liberal arts field, state certification to teach kindergarten to grade eight, and more than 30 credits toward a graduate degree.

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