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Maine Alternative Teacher Certification

Those who are interested in alternative teacher certification have a number of options, but all must have at least a bachelor's degree. Keep reading to find out about requirements, testing, and certification.

Information for Alternative Teacher Certification in Maine

All certifications available to Maine educators require: education, student teaching, exams, and a criminal record check. So for those who did not complete a traditional teacher program, there are several ways to meet these requirements and earn a teaching certificate. Options include additional education, a certification program, or a conditional certificate.

Education Required Bachelor's degree
Exams Required Praxis I, Praxis II, and/or PLT
License Validity Period 3 years (conditional); 5 years (professional)
Advancement Requirements Master's degree
Teaching experience
Additional coursework
Average Salary (2018, Maine educators)* $35,560 (preschool); $52,710 (kindergarten); $53,570 (elementary); $53,770 (middle school); $54,240 (high school); $55,120 (career/technical, secondary school)
Job Growth (2016-2016, nationwide)* 10.5% (preschool); 7.9% (kindergarten); 7.4% (elementary); 7.5% (middle and high school); 6.4% (career/technical, secondary school)

Sources: *Bureau of Labor Statistics

Alternative Routes to Certification

There are a few options for obtaining teaching certification in Maine for those who have not completed a teacher education program within their bachelor's degree.

  • Return to school and complete a second degree in education
  • Earn a master's degree in education
  • Participate in a one-year teacher certification program
  • Apply for a conditional certificate with the Maine DOE while completing courses required for a professional certificate

Required Education and Experience for a Conditional Certificate

Each certificate endorsement holds its own specific requirements. To qualify for a conditional certificate, an educator must meet the following requirements:

  • Completion of a bachelor's degree (except for career/technical: a high school diploma or GED may qualify with adequate work experience)
  • Completion of around 24 semester hours of qualifying college coursework (or qualifying work experience)
  • Completion of a background check

All courses taken must be at a 100 level or higher from an accredit four-year college. However, up to six semester hours can be waived with a score of 60 or higher on a CLEP subject exam. For example, a passing score could waive an Algebra or an English class requirement.

Applying for Certification

Once the above requirements are met, applicants will need to submit their fingerprints for a criminal background check. They will also mail their certificate application, official transcripts, a $100 initial application fee, and other applicable documentation to the Maine Department of Education.

Certificate Renewal and Advancement

Renewals are completed through the Maine Educator Information System website, or MEIS. The website takes applicants step-by-step through the process. The application should only take around 15 minutes, as the site will have the educator's current information on file. There is a $100 renewal fee that will be required before submission. Processing of the renewal can take around 5 weeks.

Educators who obtained a conditional certificate can apply for the five-year professional certificate when they have met the additional requirements (such as student teaching and completion of required exams).