Liberal arts graduates interested in becoming teachers get an intensive dose of both theory and practice in the University of Southern Maine's Extended Teacher Education Program (ETEP).
University faculty and teachers at five area schools collaborated in designing the program and work as full partners in operating it. The core of ETEP is a yearlong internship that pairs interns with experienced teachers who are trained for their role as mentors. Interns participate in the daily activities and routines of a teacher, observe instruction, co-plan and teach lessons, and eventually assume full-time teaching responsibilities.
At the same time, they take graduate courses taught by both teachers and university faculty. The program encourages interns to reflect on their teaching practices and on the relationship between theory and practice.
Many ETEP interns are experienced professionals seeking a career change who bring valuable knowledge to their schools. At Yarmouth High School, for example, an intern with substantial experience in interactive multimedia design helped teachers integrate multimedia into the curriculum.