Beginning Fall 2018, conditionally certified special educators in their first year of teaching are required to participate in Maine’s Alternative Certification Mentoring program (MACM), a Maine Department of Education project developed in partnership with the University of Maine. This requirement is outlined in the Maine Department of Education Chapter 180, Section 11(5).Maine’s Alternative Certification and Mentoring program (MACM)
This program is an alternative pathway to certification to support Maine’s need for highly qualified special educators. MACM offers intensive, focused support and mentoring during the special educator’s critical first year of practice.
MACM ensures that new conditionally certified special educators are mentored by a trained special educator mentor. They must also complete a one-semester online graduate course designed for MACM participants. The course, MACM Special Education Mentorship, is focused on application of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) through the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process.
School Administrative Units (SAUs) may use federal IDEA funds to support the cost of the MACM course if an appropriate professional development project is written in the application. The course is offered at both the University of Maine and the University of Southern Maine and the teacher is expected to work with the SAU to cover the course tuition. The new teacher may enroll in the required course during either the fall or spring semester of their first year.
MACM Procedures for School Districts
As soon as a conditionally certified special educator is hired, the SAU should contact the MACM Coordinator with the name and contact information for the new teacher and the SAU’s certification committee chair. MACM will work with the SAU’s certification committee and special education administrator to identify and assign a veteran special educator mentor to support the new teacher. If the SAU does not have a trained special educator mentor available, the SAU should assign a general educator mentor and MACM will assign an external mentor to support the new teacher with special education-related needs. For more information, please contact the MACM Coordinator, Valerie.Smith@maine.edu