Addiction Certification: Not Just for Rehab Majors

One of the best things about college is that you get to choose classes and topics that interest you, even if they are not part of your declared major! Did you know that UMF offers specialized certification programs that allow students to take a set of classes designed to target a specific field, interest, or topic? The certification programs are not majors, and they are not minors- they are simply a set of courses put together and designed to prepare students going into various fields by giving them knowledge and skills outside of the courses that align with their major. UMF offers Addiction Rehabilitation, Alpine Operations, and English Language Learners (ELL) certifications.

These certification programs are offered to all majors, even with no prior background. Brittany Jerome is a junior at UMF majoring in Early Childhood Special Education while also enrolled in the Addiction Rehabilitation certification program. She has been able to make strong connections between the two fields, as many of her peers have as well. “I never took a rehab class before enrolling in this certification, and I did not feel as though I was behind my classmates,” said Brittany. “These classes include students from a wide range of majors, as many of the classes contain content that is applicable to a variety of majors. The professors understand that not everyone in these classes have the same prior knowledge, so they are really good about including information that non-rehab majors might not know. I have taken classes with students majoring in rehab, education, health, psychology, ORBA, and many more!” 

When asked why she has interest in the addiction field, Brittany touched upon the rapid growth of addiction across the nation. “Addiction is spreading, very quickly. Today, almost everyone you meet has been affected by addiction in some way. While working with young children and their families I will come across families where parents, siblings, and other family members may be struggling with addiction, and it affects the whole family. The applied knowledge of addiction and how it can affect families will give me a better understanding and insight into what the family as a whole struggles with, so that I can better help the family meet their needs.”

This program includes classes about substance abuse prevention and addiction, families in rehabilitation, counseling and the helping relationship, child and family psychology, and more! Some of them are health classes, rehabilitation classes, and psychology classes. For a complete list of the courses included in the Addiction Rehabilitation certification, click here

The classes that are included in this certification have been selected and designed to give students the knowledge and competencies needed in order to take the exam to become a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) in the state of Maine. More information about the CADC requirements is available here.

This certification program can expose students to various career paths that they had not thought of before that allow them to apply the knowledge they learn in these classes with that of the classes in their major. This was Brittany’s experience, as she was not exactly sure what she wanted to do until recently. “I always knew I wanted to work with babies and young children born with various physical, cognitive, and functional impairments- but I did not want to be a teacher,” Brittany said. “I personally have an interest in working with infants and children born with various mental health needs as well as with parents struggling with their own mental health. I can help parents understand their child’s needs and how to cope with their own struggles as they transition into parenthood. As addiction is a growing epidemic, I will most likely be working with families that struggle with addiction and co-occurring disorders, and even babies born with addiction. This certification program allows me to apply my early childhood special education knowledge with my addiction counseling knowledge in order to make me a more appealing and qualified candidate.”

Are you interested in the topic of addiction counseling, but do not think it will apply to your career goals? Think again! The courses in this certification program are applicable to anyone who wants to work with the public, especially in the human services field. Even if you do not have interest in being an addiction counselor, you still learn a lot about addiction in general, families, co-occurring disorders, the helping relationship- so much more. “Since addiction is such a growing issue, it is almost inevitable that you will end up working with someone who has been affected by addiction,” said Brittany. “Addiction does not discriminate, so I think anyone can find a way to apply it to their current field of interest.”

The certification programs offered at UMF are designed to enhance the knowledge, skills, and competencies of pre-professionals in various areas and disciplines before entering the field. The additional education that students in these programs receive make them a more qualified and appealing candidate, and may be the deciding factor for employers when comparing UMF graduates with other applicants. For more information about the various certification programs offered at UMF, visit the Certificates website.

 

Partner Spotlight: Thomas Desjardins and the 21st Century Kids of Franklin County

The University of Maine at Farmington values the partnerships held with various community members and organizations. These partnerships allow UMF students to get involved in the community while building on their field experience and engaging in a hands-on learning environment.

The Franklin County Children’s Task Force provides extensive employment, practicum, volunteer, and internship opportunities for students, including their 21st Century Kids of F.R.A.N.K.L.I.N After School Program. Thomas Desjardins, Program Coordinator, was able to give an insight into the program, the opportunities it provides for UMF students, and the value of this partnership.

“The Franklin County Children’s Task Force generally assists families in need in Franklin county,” Mr. Desjardins explains. “Specifically, my program is the 21st Century After School Program and the mission of this program is to provide quality after school programming with intensive academic supports at no cost to the students in both Farmington and Wilton and the Mt. Blue school district. We provide a safe space for parents to leave their kids when they are at work. We know how much child care costs, but we want to do more. It is more than just a safe space. We want to promote positive interactions and academic achievement in these children. It is all about caring about the people in the community.”

Out of the 31 staff members, 28 of them are UMF students. Kathy Kemp, a UMF Rehabilitation Services professor, is also on the Task Force Board of Directors. Partnering with the University has given the Task Force and the 21st Century Program numerous cooperative and valuable contacts within the community.

UMF students that are employed through the 21st Century Program have the opportunity to take what they have learned in the classroom and apply it to this program, as they are involved in lesson planning and implementing those lessons at Mallet or Academy Hill Elementary School. UMF students serve in the role of enrichment facilitator, academic tutor, homework helper, and as the site coordinator. They plan various STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) activities, provide academic supports, kinesthetic activities, visual and performing arts, and health prevention education.”

As a previous school principal, Mr. Desjardins enjoys coaching and supporting new teachers and helping others build on their own skills. “[UMF students] learn how to interact, manage, teach, plan- all aspects of being a school teacher. It’s not babysitting, it’s more like being paid for student teaching or practicum. They participate in monthly staff meetings and professional development, they bring in professionals from various fields, and engage in professional discussions around teaching and learning.” Mr. Desjardins values the “organic connection” that students have with him and his program. “Students look for opportunities to further their craft outside of the classroom. It’s a win win situation, they get the experience and I get to coach them. And they get a paycheck!” Mr. Desjardins said with a chuckle.

When looking for prospective candidates, positive energy and good character are the most important qualities for a potential employee to have. “My realization is that in your early 20’s as a student you have a lot of capacity to be built, but you do not have a lot of tools in the tool box,” says Mr. Desjardins. “It is incumbent upon me to expand your tool box. I run this program as if I am a principal and these employees are my teachers.”

Thomas Desjardins and the 21st Century After School Program are valuable assets to the community and the University. Mr. Desjardins cares a lot about the community, families, and his employees. His experience as a school principal gives him the skills and knowledge to work with future educators and help them build on their own skills to reach their full potential. He is a tremendous leader, educator, coordinator, and partner. The University of Maine at Farmington and the Franklin county are lucky to have him as a partner and a supporter.

The Franklin County Children’s Task Force and the 21st Century Kids of F.R.A.N.K.L.I.N Program are always recruiting UMF students for practicum, student teaching, volunteer, and employment opportunities. For more information about this program and how to get involved, please contact Thomas Desjardins at tdesjardins@fcctf.org or (207) 778-6960, or visit the Franklin County Children’s Task Force website.

On behalf of the UMF community, we would like to thank Mr. Desjardins and his program for all that they do for University students and the community. “Franklin County Children’s Task Force, strengthening families for over 30 years.”

 

Money Saving Options for Education Majors

College is expensive for everyone. The fees, tuition, room and board, and everything else that is factored in can add up to a hefty dollar amount. Did you know that there are loan forgiveness programs and UMF scholarships designed for education majors? Read below to learn about some of these options.

 

Loan Forgiveness: The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue in the teaching profession. Under this program, if you teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in certain elementary and secondary schools and educational service agencies that serve low-income families, and meet other qualifications, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to a combined total of $17,500 on your Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and your Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans. If you have PLUS loans only, you are not eligible for this type of forgiveness. Participants in this program must have a bachelor’s degree in education to be considered a qualified teacher, and ust have completed their five years of full-time teaching before applying for Loan Forgiveness. You may visit the Teacher Loan Forgiveness website to learn more information about eligibility requirements, loan qualifications, or to fill out an application.

 

 

 

UMF Scholarships: UMF offers over one hundred academic scholarships for students, and many of them are dedicated to students in the education field. Many scholarships have very few requirements to be eligible, and they are designed to help all students that are deserving. Below is list of just some of the scholarships offered to education majors at UMF. For a complete list of UMF scholarships and recipient requirements, visit the UMF Scholarships website.

Scholarships for Education Majors (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Allen, Grace Stone Award
  • Ambrose, Dr. Edward S. and Barbara Dickey Scholarship
  • Arsenault, Katie J. Memorial Scholarship
  • Brooks, Leonard Knowles ‘58 Scholarship
  • Clawson, Gene and Sue Scholarship
  • Cobban, Margaret R. Scholarship Fund
  • Cramer, Rowena Titcomb Scholarship Fund
  • Currie, Edmund D. Scholarship Fund
  • D’aiutolo, Sadie Redding
  • D.A.R. Scholarship
  • Genthner, Grace Berry Scholarship
  • Irwin, Charlotte M. Brett
  • Johnson, Alice Miller (Class of 1939) Scholarship
  • Kaulback, Vera Macbean (Class of 1940) Scholarship
  • Lake, Doris Francis Scholarship
  • Lockwood, Helen E. Scholarship
  • Macinnes, Beatrice Hudon Memorial Scholarship
  • McGary, Ruth Webber (Class of 1950) Scholarship
  • Mosher, Nettie Taylor Scholarships
  • Nickerson, Clement (1956) and Patricia Craig (1959) Scholarship
  • Parlin, Millard S. Sr. and Alverna, W. Scholarship
  • Richards, Leona Coy Scholarship
  • Verrill, Joan R. Scholarship

Teaching with Fulbright in Bulgaria

Caroline Murphy is a recent UMF graduate who is working with Fulbright as an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in Bulgaria. Caroline too the time to answer some of our questions about her experience thus far.

 

What made you choose Bulgaria?

I chose Bulgaria because I was very interested in living in eastern Europe and experiencing a culture different from my own, because the Bulgarian Fulbright Program is a very active and growing organization, and because I really fell in love with the country whilst in the application process – I could really see myself living and teaching there.

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What are you hoping to gain from this experience?

From this experience I am hoping to gain a broader perspective on world affairs, to challenge myself to explore new teaching methods and a different way of life, and to develop my skills as an ESL (English as a second language) educator as that is one career I am considering after Fulbright.

 

How has teaching in another country changed your viewpoint/philosophy of teaching in general?

Being an ETA in Bulgaria has reinforced why I want to be a teacher and strengthened many aspects of my teaching philosophy – being as creative as possible in all aspects of classroom life, never giving up on students, always reflecting on my own teaching and trying to be better.

 

What challenges have you faced teaching in another country and how have you faced them?

Teaching in another country has been challenging for sure. The language barrier is significant – my students have varying levels of English proficiency and my Bulgarian is certainly a work in progress, so communication can be difficult. Discipline expectations are very different in Bulgaria than in the United States and this has really challenged my classroom management skills. I’ve faced these challenges by always trying to have a positive attitude and by thinking for creatively when problem solving. It’s helpful to always keep in mind what a fantastic opportunity Fulbright is and seeing every challenge as a chance to learn something new and become a stronger teacher.

 

What can you tell us about Fulbright?  What made you decide to pursue a Fulbright teaching opportunity?  How does a student apply?

The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the US Department of State and funds exchange opportunities in the form of English Teaching Assistantships and various research grants. I chose to apply for a Fulbright grant because I had a strong desire to teach English overseas and Fulbright provides a unique opportunity to completely immerse oneself in a different culture while teaching. To apply for a Fulbright grant, a student should first contact the Fulbright Campus Advisor at their school (at UMF ours is Dr. Anne Marie Wolf). They will then complete an application, have an on-campus interview, and submit their transcript. The Application deadline each year is in October, and final decisions are made the following spring.

 

How does teaching with Fulbright differ from your student teaching experience?

Fulbright is completely different from student teaching. The application process is very rigorous and receiving a Fulbright grant requires previous experience working with English Language Learners and/or prior experience living in a different culture. I have a mentor teacher, but her role is more about helping me adjust to Bulgaria and the school climate and less about assisting me with instruction. Bear in mind that this is different depending on the ETA – while I have a teaching degree and experience to back it up, many of my Fulbright colleagues come from different fields and are first time teachers, meaning they will receive more teaching assistance. But in general Fulbright is more responsibility than student teaching and is really much harder!

 

What kind of training does Fulbright provide for teachers?

Each country provides different training for English Teaching Assistants, but all provide some sort of orientation before beginning your teaching placements. I had a ten day orientation in Bulgaria’s capital city and we received some background training on ESL teaching strategies and classroom management.

 

Thank you Caroline for taking the time to tell us about your experience! For more information about Fulbright teaching opportunities visit their website or contact the UMF Fulbright Campus Advisor at anne.marie.wolf@maine.edu.

Leadership Series Workshops

Are you interested in developing your leadership skills, learning about your personal leadership strengths, and learning with local community members about how to be come a leader in your community?

UMF’s Partnership for Civic Advancement is facilitating a new leadership series, including panel discussions, workshops, site visits and networking events focused on helping you to tap into your leadership potential and embrace opportunities to practice your leadership skills.

Check out their website for more information and to stay up to date on the next workshops! The next two workshops are:

Wednesday, November 2nd at 6:30 p.m. in room 103 of the Kalikow Education Center: 

“Gotta Get Through This:  Skills You Can Use to Manage Yourself and Your Life”
There are so many things to do and people to please!  This workshop is an opportunity to assess where your stress comes from and give you some new skills to help you get everything done.  Open to all students.  Attendance counts toward earning Leadership Certificate.

and Monday November 28th in the morning (time TBA) meeting in the Partnership Office and leaving from there:

“Get on the Bus”
Open to all students, but limited seating is available – reservations are required.  Attend this session to learn about leadership through service by visiting and interacting with regional health and human service providers.  Attendance counts toward earning Leadership Certificate.

EdCamp Western Maine

EdCamp Western Maine is scheduled for February 4, 2017 at Mt. Blue High School!!! EdCamps are teacher-led professional development experiences in which teachers share their expertise (in this case, about technology) and learn together about new trends and innovations in education. Come meet like-minded educators, network, share and learn!
Sign up early to make sure you’ve reserved a spot!

For more information, or to sign up, visit the EdCampWMe website today!edcamp

SAVE THE DATE: Nature Based Education Institute

The University of Maine at Farmington is pleased to announce the second Nature Based Education Summer Institute. On Friday June 23, 2017 we will host pre-conference workshops, and on Saturday June 24, 2017 we look forward to a full day of conference sessions. Please share this Save the Date with any educators who you believe might be interested in participating!
Visit our website for more information.
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Important Dates:
Late October – Call for Session Proposals will open
December 1, 2016 – Call for Session Proposals will close
December 20, 2016 – Presenters will be notified about their proposals
February 1, 2017 – Registration will be open (Attendance is limited to 125 people)

Teach in Alaska Seminar

Ever considered moving to Alaska? Here’s your chance to learn more! A repersentative from the Lower Kuskokwim School District in Bethel, Alaska will be at the University of Maine at Farmington on Oct. 17 to talk about moving, living, and working in Alaska!

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Playgroup Opportunities

Opportunity #1:

Attention parents/caregivers of infants & toddlers: Come play with your young children as you observe and support their amazing development!

We are now registering families for a UMF Monday evening playgroup starting mid-September. This playgroup is for children under three years of age and is based on a model called PIWI (Parents Interacting with Infants).

The playgroup’s focus is parents’ observations of and interactions with their young children. The weekly sessions are facilitated by Dolores Appl, a UMF professor and her students, who are preparing to be teachers of young children. Each week the students plan meaningful learning activities based on the interests of the parents and children attending. The groups are free and enrollment is open to all families of infants and toddlers. However, registration is required.

If you would like to register or want more information, please contact Dolores at 778-7507 or dappl@maine.edu.

 

Opportunity #2:

The Department of Early Childhood Education offers 3 morning playgroups for families with young children. Playgroups run on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9-11am at our site at 112 Maguire Street. Caregivers/families sign-up to attend one of the three sessions each week (either T, W, or TH). Groups are mixed age, with children ranging in age from birth to 3 years old. A variety of different types of caregivers attend the program with children including dads, moms, grandparents,and child care providers.

Professor Patty Williams’ ECH 250 students help to facilitate the groups. They offer a variety of play-based developmental learning opportunities for children and their caregivers to explore. It is also a great way for parents in the community to meet, socialize, and connect. We also offer a circle time and snack. There is a $10 once yearly registration fee for the program, with scholarships available for those who may find the fee a barrier to attending the program.

If you or someone you know might benefit from this program, please contact Patty at patricia.h.williams@maine.edu. She is registering families for the program right now. In particular, they have several openings in the Thursday playgroup that they are looking to fill.

Social Justice Through Dentistry: Senior Larissa Hannan Reflects on Internship at Community Dental

Larissa Guest AuthorGuest Author:  Larissa Hannan, UMF Senior, Community Health Education

This summer, I was fortunate enough to intern under Community Dental of Farmington. I am a current senior Community Health student, and when you think of community health, public health, or just health in Continue reading