Professional Certification

Colby believes that the best preparation for a teaching career is two-fold: (a) a strong background in the liberal arts, including intensive study of the subject to be taught; and (b) appropriate course work and practical experience in Education.

There are two pathways for students pursuing Professional Certification:

1) Complete the Professional Certification minor, which consists of seven courses and two electives.  The core courses are ED 213 or ED 215, ED 231, ED 374, ED 431; one practicum (351 or 355); and the Senior Student Teaching sequence (ED 433 and ED 437).  In addition, students must complete a major in a department or program that corresponds to a field in which Colby offers certification.

2) Complete a major in Educational Studies and a major in a department or program that corresponds to a field in which Colby offers certification.  ED 213 or ED 215, ED 231, ED 374, ED 351 or ED 355, and ED 431 can be taken as part of a major in Educational Studies.  The Senior Student Teaching sequence (ED 433 and ED 437) must be taken in addition to the ten courses required for an Educational Studies major.

Students who complete Colby’s professional certification program are eligible to apply for teacher licensure in Maine for secondary public school teaching (grades 7-12) in the following fields: English, social studies, life science, physical science, and mathematics.  In addition, licensure is available for grades K-12 in French, German, and Spanish.

Colby’s professional certification program is approved by the Maine State Board of Education.  Maine also participates in the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) and, through the NASDTEC Interstate Contract, Maine has reciprocity for teacher licensure with 43 other states. An Education Program faculty member will prepare documentation to support Colby graduates when they apply to transfer the Maine teaching certificate to another state.

Candidates for Maine teacher licensure must pass both the Praxis I (basic knowledge and skills) and Praxis II (content area knowledge) exams, undergo a criminal background check and fingerprinting, and complete a portfolio demonstrating competencies in Maine’s Initial Teaching Standards. Fees are required for both of the Praxis exams and for the background check. Furthermore, the Maine Department of Education (DOE) charges an application fee. Students may consider applying directly to another state in lieu of completing Maine’s requirements. Students who wish to apply directly to another state without first obtaining Maine licensure must contact the department of education in the other state and should also consult with Colby Education Program faculty.

Students interested in professional certification should apply to the program in the spring of their junior year. Candidates must have at least a 3.00 average in their major subject area and have completed the appropriate prerequisites for the student teaching sequence. A ninth semester program is also available to qualified students. Students in the program return to Colby after graduation to complete the Senior Student Teaching sequence by working full time in a local school. There is no charge for this program, but students are responsible for finding their own housing off campus. Students interested in the ninth semester program should apply to the program in the spring of their senior year.

Additional information about the professional certification and ninth semester options is available from the program faculty. Early consultation with program faculty and careful planning of the student’s course of studies is essential for a successful completion of the minor. This is especially important for students studying abroad.

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