Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Special Education

One innovative integrated program. 100% loan forgiveness.

Saint Joseph's College is proud to be the only school in Maine to offer a brand new combined degree in Elementary Education and Special Education. After offering concentrations in each area for over 10 years, we have combined the two programs into this integrated major. This degree will prepare teachers for 21st Century classrooms, where children with varying abilities learn together. You will take the entire elementary education program and the entire special education program. Then choose to student teach in either field,  or be dual certified by student teaching in both.

Hands-on experience is built into all of our degrees. Don’t wait till senior year - at Saint Joe’s you’ll work with teachers and children in the classroom all four years.

Elementary EducationThe primary goal of Saint Joseph’s education department is to prepare competent teachers. The program operates on the premise that theory becomes internalized when learned in context and applied. This objective is possible because of early, sequential, and extensive field experiences.

At a Glance

  • Student-teaching supervisors are well acquainted with students and their teaching styles.
  • Student teaching is done in local schools, allowing for seminars and on-campus opportunities for inquiry.
  • Students work with public school students from the first year they arrive.
  • Methods courses are kept small by design; students have multiple opportunities to practice teaching skills during the semester.


Do you want to be the best teacher you can? Let us help you reach your goal! The education major at Saint Joseph’s College is a State of Maine Department of Education-approved program consisting of education methods courses, a continuum of clinical placements for all four years, the college CORE courses and a concentration.

The elementary education and special education major at Saint Joseph’s College is a Maine-approved program comprised of liberal studies, education methodology, and a continuum of field experiences.

Working in Public Schools with students: What to Expect

Freshman Year
Students have the opportunity to visit and volunteer in classrooms in a local school district.

Sophomore Year
Students have a full semester practicum during the fall and spring semesters. You will have the opportunity to teach science classes in a highly diverse public school setting. Many of our students reflect that this is their most favorite placement!

Junior Year
Junior year begins with a Blessing Ceremony intended to recognize that students are halfway through the program and ready to begin teaching. You have an internship both semesters on Tuesday and Thursday. You will write lesson plans and teach. You also have a supervisor from the college who is there to support you the entire time.

Senior Year
During your senior year you have a full 15 week intensive student teaching experience in a local school. You will have a dedicated supervisor who will lead you through the process. This is the culminating event where you will use all of the skills and strategies you have learned over the previous three years.

Fast Track to MSEd

Undergraduate education students have the option to Fast Track to their MSEd. As an undergraduate you can earn graduate credits by taking our hybrid ED 555 course.

Partnering with Elementary Schools

Education student and Patricia Waters grow seedlings for a science curriculum for community-based learningThrough a Maine Campus Compact grant and part of community-based learning, elementary education students put together a curriculum about pollinators. They worked in groups, each responsible to develop and teach one lesson plan to six classes at a local elementary school.

“They had to discover what worked and what didn’t. More so than getting the lesson right the first time, they needed to critically reflect and realize what went wrong. Many of their lessons included lots and lots (and lots!) of materials. When those materials were put on the table with kids, it influenced the elementary students’ engagement. That discovery will help them achieve one of the most important outcomes of this course: they discovered the impact of distraction. ”

—Dr. Patricia Waters

Some of our faculty

Kathleen Clements, EdD
Kathleen Clements, EdDChair, Assistant Professor of Education, Director of Teacher Education
EdD, Northcentral University, Arizona
MS, University of Houston, Clear Lake
BA, Boston College
Kevin Mahoney, EdD
Kevin Mahoney, EdDAssistant Professor
EdD, Northeastern University
MSED, Lesley University
BS, Providence College
Patricia Waters, PhD
Patricia Waters, PhDAssociate Professor of Education
PhD, University of Rochester
MS, Pace University
BA, University of Rochester

Student stories

Elementary education major Renee Leask

Renee Leask

Due to the pandemic, Renee student taught online and saw those ‘light-bulb’ moments in the kids faces. “I would not trade the experience I received for anything in the world.”

April Benak, elementary education

April Benak

While student teaching, the Special Education Director included April on an IEP meeting and always updated her on student accommodations.

A woman with long brown hair wearing a white sweater is smiling while standing outdoors with a blurred green background, embodying the joy and dedication typical of someone pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. Saint Joseph's College of Maine

Autumn Zubricki

“It’s four hours a week, twice a week, so it’s great. I really got to know all the kids. At the heart of it, I always knew I just wanted to be with, and help, kids.”

Career moves

Although most students deciding to major in education will choose to become teachers, other career options exist as well.