Colby believes that the best preparation for a teaching career is twofold: (1) a strong background in the liberal arts, including intensive study of the subject to be taught, and (2) appropriate course work and practical experience in education.
There are two pathways for students pursuing professional certification: (1) complete the professional certification minor, (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. See below for more information.
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 and, through the NASDTEC Interstate Contract, Maine has reciprocity for teacher licensure with 43 other states. An Education Department 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 undergo a criminal background check and fingerprinting, and complete a portfolio demonstrating competencies in Maine’s Initial Teaching Standards. Fees are required for the background check. Furthermore, the Maine Department of Education 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 Department faculty.
Applying to the Professional Certification Program
Students interested in professional certification must apply to the program in the spring of their junior year. Candidates must have at least a 3.0 average in their major subject area and must have completed the appropriate prerequisites for the student-teaching sequence (Education 201, 215, and 351). Note: Completion of the professional certification program requires that candidates teach full time (8 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday-Friday) during the spring semester of their senior year. Other Colby courses cannot conflict with this daily commitment.
A ninth-semester program is also available to qualified students. Students in the program return to Colby after graduation in either the fall or the spring semester to complete the senior student-teaching sequence 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 must apply to the program in the spring of their senior year. Candidates must have completed all required courses for professional certification except for the student-teaching sequence. In rare cases, students may apply to the ninth-semester program without having completed Education 374; they will be required to take 374 in the January term and complete the student-teaching sequence in the subsequent spring term.
Additional information about the professional certification and ninth-semester options is available from the department faculty. Early consultation with department faculty and careful planning of the student’s course of studies are essential for successful completion of the minor. This is especially important for students studying abroad.
Requirements for the Minor in Professional Certification
Eight courses are required:
- ED101 (previously ED201)
- ED215 (for students in the class of 2025 and earlier, ED213 can be accepted instead)
In addition, students must complete a major in a department or program that corresponds to a field in which Colby offers certification. Note: Education 433, offered during the spring semester of the senior year, requires that professional certification candidates teach full time (8 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday-Friday). Other Colby courses cannot conflict with this daily commitment.
Requirements for Professional Certification for Double Majors
A major in educational studies and a major in a department or program that corresponds to a field in which Colby offers certification. Courses in education must include 201; 215; 331; 351; 374; 433; 494A; and 494B. For the major in educational studies, the student teaching sequence counts as one course toward the major. Note: Education 433, offered during the spring semester of the senior year, requires that professional certification candidates teach full time (8 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday-Friday). Other Colby courses cannot conflict with this daily commitment.