UMPI, New Brunswick college forge partnership

Posted June 09, 2011, at 7:59 p.m.

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — An agreement between officials at the University of Maine at Presque Isle and Bethany Bible College in Sussex, New Brunswick, will allow students from the Canadian institute to pursue post degree options at UMPI and attain academic requirements for teacher certification in Maine and New Brunswick.

Administrators from UMPI were in New Brunswick on Tuesday to sign the cooperative educational agreement.

Through this partnership, students earning a bachelor’s degree in christian school education at BBC may receive conditional early admission to the bachelor’s degree in teacher education program at UMPI. After graduating from BBC, students meeting UMPI’s requirements will be able to complete the second degree program in two semesters with a stint as a student teacher. Upon passing Maine’s Praxis series exams, graduates will receive teacher certification from the state. This certification is recognized by more than forty states and enables students to receive an Interim Certificate V from New Brunswick. Once an individual has completed two years of teaching within the New Brunswick public school system, a permanent certificate is issued upon request.

Dr. Michael Sonntag, vice president for academic affairs at UMPI, said the move will allow BBC graduates to “transition seamlessly into our education degree programs.”

They also will receive hands-on experience in the education field and be able to earn their certification in a fairly condensed time period, he added.

“This is a significant benefit for our students,” said Dr. David Smith, vice president for academic affairs at BBC. “Essentially, it means that they have the potential of earning two bachelors degrees plus teacher certification in about 5½ years.”

Courtney Glidden, a BBC graduate and a teacher at the Sussex Christian School, enrolled in UMPI’s education degree program and graduated May 2010.

“The B.A. in christian school education degree that I received from BBC prepared me to step into UMPI’s teacher education program with ease, and the coursework at UMPI enhanced my teaching preparation,” Glidden said. “It was a great experience.”

This is not the first time that UMPI has partnered with schools in Maine and internationally for the betterment of students.

A unique partnership between the University of Maine at Presque Isle and the Maine School of Science and Mathematics forged last year allows secondary education majors at UMPI to work yearlong internships at the magnet high school.

Education students at UMPI typically spend 15 weeks as interns in schools throughout The County and receive academic credit. The UMPI-MSSM agreement allows education interns to take part in yearlong internships, and the schools that host them benefit from school and university research projects and collaborative activities across curriculum content areas. The university has similar agreements with schools in Caribou and Presque Isle.

In Sept. 2009, officials from UMPI and the Lertlah School, a private school with three campuses in Thailand, signed an agreement that will allow UMPI education students to complete their student teaching requirements overseas. The school is bilingual, with a portion of the courses taught in English.

Also in 2009, UMPI officials and administrators with the Carleton Project, an alternative private school, forged a partnership to allow Carleton Project students to learn in a building on the UMPI campus.

Dr. Don Zillman, UMPI president, said that the college is looking forward to its newest partnership.

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