Melissa Rosenberg chosen as a 2013 ACES Presidential Fellow

Melissa Rosenberg, a new faculty in the Counselor Education program at the University of Southern Maine has been chosen as a  2013-2014 Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) Presidential Fellow.

The ACES Presidential Fellows is an initiative developed and sponsored by the ACES President to support the emergent leaders and educators in our profession. Each region was asked to nominate four individuals who evidence a high level of professional commitment, potentiality, and excellence. Two of these individuals are new professionals in counselor education, and the other two are graduate students.

As part of the ACES Presidential Fellow recognition, each Fellow will receive a complimentary registration to the upcoming 2013 ACES Conference in Denver, Colorado.   At the conference, Melissa will be highlighted as a fellow at the awards luncheon scheduled for Saturday, October 19th.  In addition, Melissa will be invited to attend a presidential reception of ACES leadership both past and present.

Posted by on October 25th, 2013 Comments Off

Best Practices in Applied Psychology Workshop Series


The School of Education and Human Development School Psychology Program and Professional Development Center at the University of Southern Maine are pleased to announce the following workshops for psychologists and related mental health professionals during the 2013-2014 academic year.

All events will be held in Bailey Hall on the USM Gorham Campus. All events have psychology CEUs available.

To download a registration form (pdf) please click here or you can call 207-780-5055.

Date Topic Cost
9/6 Who Care About Kelsey? Movie Screening and Panel Discussion – Improving Student Behavior in Schools Free!
10/4 Threat Assessment $70.00
11/1 Best Practices in Autism Diagnosis and Treatement $145.00
11/15 Functional Behavioral Assessment for Anxiety and Depression $145.00
12/6 Understanding the DSM-V $145.00
1/31 Maine SASP Student Conference $145.00
3/28 Eligibility, Diagnosis, and Team Decisions $145.00
4/11 Formative Assessment $145.00
5/23 Positive Psychology $145.00

Workshop Descriptions

Who Cares About Kelsey? Movie Screening and Discussion
September 6, 2013; 6:00-9:00pm
10 Bailey Hall, USM Gorham Campus

This movie and follow-up panel discussion will explore how schools can use effective system-level interventions to support students at risk for failure and dropout. This session is ideal for classroom teachers, school psychologists, building principals and other educators who are concerned about the increase in behavior challenges that students are facing in schools.

Threat Assessment
October 4, 2013; 9:00am-4:00pm
10 Bailey Hall, USM Gorham Campus

Sadly, there have been too many school shootings and other episodes of extreme school violence. This session will provide participants with initial training to conduct assessments of specific threats that students make in schools. Threat assessment is the only research-based method for evaluating students’ danger in school settings. Join us to learn how to use recent data and FBI guidelines to promote and support school safety.

Best Practices in Autism Diagnosis and Treatment
November 1, 2013; 9:00am-4:00pm
10 Bailey Hall, USM Gorham Campus

Autism (now known as Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD) is the fastest growing condition for which school-age students become eligible for special education. This day-long workshop will draw from the expertise of practitioners who have worked with students with ASD for many years and share their insights into how best to identify and treat this complex condition. Using research-based methods, the presenters will illustrate what best practices are and how the new DSM-5 criteria provide a more expanded definition of this condition.

Functional Behavior Assessment for Anxiety and Depression
November 15, 2013; 9:00am-4:00pm
10 Bailey Hall, USM Gorham Campus

Many school-age students experience anxiety and depression but do not have access to treatments and supports in the school setting. This session will provide an overview of the key features of these conditions and how schools can establish both standard protocol and problem-solving methods for students who exhibit symptoms. Using research-based methods, the session will discuss the importance of multi-disciplinary supports for students with so-called “internalizing” disorders.

Understanding DSM-5
December 6, 2013; 9:00am-4:00pm
10 Bailey Hall, USM Gorham Campus

The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) was published in May 2013 amid the most fanfare and turmoil of any DSM to date. This workshop will include a panel of practitioners with diverse backgrounds who will discuss and explore how the DSM-5 does or does not change how mental health professionals think about their work.

Maine SASP Student Conference
January 31, 2014; 9:00am-4:00pm
10 Bailey Hall, USM Gorham Campus

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) is the largest single organization that advocates for high-quality psychology services in U.S. schools. Each spring NASP holds a national conference at which major topics of importance to schools are discussed. This workshop will offer a snapshot of the topics to be covered at the 2014 NASP conference in Washington D.C. and give doctoral students at USM the opportunity to plan and run a day-long event focusing on important topics for Maine school psychologists.

Eligibility, Diagnosis, and Team Decisions
March 28, 2014; 9:00am-4:00pm
10 Bailey Hall, USM Gorham Campus

Too often, school psychologists are caught in between the need to provide “diagnostic impressions” and a school’s current resources. This session will provide guidance on the key differences between diagnosis of a mental health condition and the legally defined process that guides special education decision making. Participants will learn how a diagnosis is separate from an IEP’s eligibility decision and steps to take so that school teams consider both a student’s needs and the school’s legal responsibility.

Formative Assessment
April 11, 2014; 9:00am-4:00pm
10 Bailey Hall, USM Gorham Campus

Recent policy frameworks in both general and special education have led to a focus on formative assessment as essential for effective instruction. This session will provide a background on the origins of formative assessment as well as information about how educators can use assessment tools to know which students need extra help. The importance of using reliable and valid assessments that meet special education requirements will be emphasized.

Positive Psychology
May 23, 2014; 9:00am-4:00pm
10 Bailey Hall, USM Gorham Campus

Positive psychology has been an identified field for many years, but only recently has it been recognized as useful in schools. This session will share the basic tenets of positive psychology and how it can be used in school settings to promote improved student outcomes. Presenters will explain how using proactive methods such as positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) improve outcomes for the most at-risk students.


Brought to you by the University of Southern Maine, School of Education and Human Development, Department of Educational Psychology and Exceptionality and Professional Development Center

Posted by on August 27th, 2013 Comments Off

Chinese Language and Culture Studies for Educators

Ready to broaden your horizons? The University of Southern Maine is pleased to offer a new program that brings China to the classrooms of southern Maine.

The Chinese Language and Culture Program for K-12 educators, offered through the new USM Confucius Institute, provides professionals with the unique opportunity to become proficient in Mandarin Chinese, earns credits that can be applied toward K-12 World Language Teacher Certification, or even work toward a graduate degree or certificate of advanced study.

The low-residency program is designed to fit the schedules of working professionals, with courses that meet face-to-face with independent study between course sessions. Students also have the exciting opportunity to become immersed in Chinese culture during a study abroad course at Dongbei University in Dalian, China.

Take the first step to professional and personal advancement! Register today for EPC 567 Beginning Chinese for Teachers, Part I and begin this fall.

For more information, contact Christen Stande, or 207-780-5055.


Posted by on August 16th, 2013 Comments Off

USM report examines college preparation and participation of Maine’s high school graduates

 PORTLAND-  National attention is currently focused on the topics of college and career readiness. In Maine, student enrollment and performance in college has been an ongoing discussion as state educators and legislators consider how to best prepare our high school graduates for bright, successful futures. According to a recent study released by the Maine Education Policy Research Institute (MEPRI) at the University of Southern Maine (USM), several commonly held beliefs about Maine’s college preparation and participation rates may be inaccurate.

MEPRI researchers, housed in the USM Center for Education Policy, Applied Research, and Evaluation, examined data regarding college participation rates, remedial education needs, persistency rates, and success rates of Maine’s high school graduates in the institute’s newest report, “College Participation Rates of Maine’s Recent High School Graduates: Examining the Claims.” Based on a preliminary analysis of the state’s 2010 graduating class, and data provided by the National Student Clearinghouse and University of Maine System (UMS), researchers analyzed the accuracy of several persistent claims to bring new light to old beliefs.

Key findings:

A majority of Maine students attend college: Immediately after graduation, 60 percent of Maine’s 2010 high school graduates enrolled in a two- or four-year college, a percent that has remained fairly consistent through the past two decades. Of this group, 90 percent enrolled as full-time students.

A majority of Maine students attend college in Maine with academic performance equal to those who choose an out-of-state education: Approximately 30 percent of the high school graduates who immediately enrolled in college chose an out-of-state institution. On average, those who chose to attend an out-of-state college or university scored only four points higher on the Maine High School Assessment than those who remained in state.

Less than 9 percent of students at a UMS campus require remedial coursework: For those first-time, full-time students who attended a UMS campus upon graduation, less than 9 percent took a remedial math or English course, although remedial course taking rates varied widely across UMS institutions. This rate is known to be higher for students who delayed enrolling in a college or university after graduating from high school.

Fewer Maine students drop out of college as compared to national norms: Of those first-time students who enrolled full time in a UMS institution, 84 percent returned to a university for a second year, a persistency rate that is approximately 10 to 20 percent higher than similar institutions nationwide. The dropout rate is approximately 7.5 percent higher for remedial course takers, but still below the national level for all college students.

More than 50 percent of students are considered “successful” in college by their second year:  With success defined as students who earned at least a ‘C’ average or higher during their first year and returned full time for a second year of college, approximately 58 percent of students were classified as successful. Of those students from less affluent homes (students who were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch), 47 percent were classified as successful, as compared to 60 percent from less impoverished homes.

While researchers discovered that several commonly held claims concerning Maine students’ career and college preparation may be inaccurate, data also shows that too few of the state’s high school students may not be attending college. According to recent studies, 90 percent of the fastest-growing jobs in the nation will require post-secondary education or training, and the number of jobs in Maine requiring post-secondary education or training will increase by 15,000 in the current decade. Though persistency rates are high, as shown in the MEPRI data, the finding that only 60 percent of students initially enrolled in a college or university indicates that there is work to be done.

The MEPRI, jointly funded by the Maine State Legislature and the University of Maine System, was established to conduct studies on Maine education policy and the Maine public education system for the Maine Legislature. MEPRI research on college readiness is conducted as part of the Maine Department of Education’s development of a state longitudinal data system.

The report and findings can be accessed at: .

Posted by on April 25th, 2013 Comments Off

Educating in a Digital Landscape Conference

The USM Southern Maine Writing Project will be offering a conference for K-12 educators.

Educating in a Digital Landscape
Friday, March 1, 2013
Catherine McAuley High School

The conference will highlight the following:

  • Participants will learn strategies for helping students meet Common Core Standards
  • Teaching the digital generation to create, compose and collaborate
  • Conference inclused a strand of “unconference” sessions
  • All presenters are affiliated with the Nation Writing Projects of Maine

For more information please contact Seth Mitchell, 228-8321, or visit 

Or you can download the registration flyer here!

Posted by on January 22nd, 2013 Comments Off

Chinese Language and Culture Workshop Offerings

The School of Education and Human Development is proud to host two faculty from Jiang-xi University of Science and Technology’s Chinese Language Center. While they are here they will offer the following programs through SEHD’s Professional Development Center:

Chinese for Teens & Adults: Beginning Chinese, Level 1

For beginners with little or no knowledge of the Chinese language. The student will learn Chinese phonetics, tones, basic words, grammar, and sentence structure.

Dates: Mondays & Wednesdays, October 15-December 19, 2012
Time: 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Location: University of Southern Maine, Portland Campus
Credit: 3.0 CEUs are available upon request ($20 processing fee required)
Cost: $100.00

Introduction to Traditional Chinese Culture & Art for Teens and Adults

An introduction to Chinese traditional festivals & customs and the skills & meaning of Chinese arts such as Calligraphy, Chinese Painting, Tai Chi, KungFu, Traditional Chinese Music, Chinese Dance, Chinese Knots, Paper Cutting and Dough Art, Chinese Medicine, Chinese Philosophy, etc.

Session I
Dates: Thursdays, October 25-November 15, 2012
Time: 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Location: University of Southern Maine, Portland Campus
Credit: 0.8 CEUs are available upon request ($20 processing fee required)
Cost: $25.00

Session II
Dates: Tuesdays, November 29-December 20, 2012
Time: 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Location: University of Southern Maine, Gorham Campus
Credit: 0.8 CEUs are available upon request ($20 processing fee required)
Cost: $25.00

Creative Studio for Teens and Adults

Creative handcarts including paper cutting, Chinese knotting, cards making etc. Participants will create a variety of fun craft items while developing their imagination and creativity.

Session I
Dates: Tuesdays, October 23-November 13, 2012
Time: 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Location: University of Southern Maine, Gorham Campus
Credit: 0.8 CEUs are available upon request ($20 processing fee required)
Cost: $25.00

Session II
Dates: Thursdays, November 27-December 18, 2012
Time: 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Location: University of Southern Maine, Portland Campus
Credit: 0.8 CEUs are available upon request ($20 processing fee required)
Cost: $25.00


Download the registration flyer (pdf) or call 207-780-5054 or 207-780-5055

Posted by on October 2nd, 2012 Comments Off

Conference Announcement – Save the Date

Teaching Reading: Building on the Five Pillars of Reading Instruction

USM’s Annual Conference on Teaching Reading: Building on the Five Pillars of Reading Instruction

Friday, January 18, 2013

The University of Southern Maine’s Literacy, Language, and Culture Department and Professional Development Center invite you to their 13th Annual Conference on Teaching Reading (formally known as Working with Struggling Readers). This one-day workshop provides grade-level insights and strategies for helping all students improve their reading skills, demonstrate proficiency in the Common Core State Standards, and increase their motivation to read. The sessions will be conducted by expert literacy teachers, literacy specialists, and USM faculty who have a successful track record of working with striving readers in K-12 classrooms, including students who are learning English as an additional language and those who have special needs. Session presenters and workshop attendees will share their accomplishments and challenges in meeting the needs of all readers and assisting them in their literacy development. This year’s theme, “Building on the Five Pillars of Reading Instruction,” will allow participants to learn more about the National Reading Panel’s (2000) five essentials of teaching reading (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension) as well as more recent research-based developments in the field of reading instruction.

Program and registration information will be available in October.

Sponsored by Professional Development Center & Literacy, Language, and Culture Department, USM School of Education

FMI please visit:


Posted by on August 30th, 2012 Comments Off

Third Annual State-Wide PBIS Conference

PBIS Conference

Third Annual State-Wide
Maine PBIS Conference
Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
Implementing PBIS K-12: Tier 1 and 2 School-Wide and Classroom

Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Augusta Civic Center 

Download the Registration Flyer (pdf)

Conference Overview

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) are being  implemented in over 16,000 schools across 47 states, and Maine had a 90% increase in PBIS schools last year! PBIS has a large and ever growing research base demonstrating positive outcomes including but not limited to  increased academic achievement and academic engagement, decreased  time spent addressing problem behavior, improved positive school climate,  and reduction in administration of consequences for problem behaviors such as detentions and suspensions. PBIS is not a packaged curriculum, but an  approach made up of essential elements that can be implemented a variety  of ways.

This conference includes an “Implementor’s Forum,” implementation sessions in which several Maine schools will share their experiences  implementing PBIS, including preparation, unique practices and systems,  and outcomes thus far. Other sessions are designed to support schools seeking to start up or sustain PBIS efforts, including topics such as Primary  and Secondary Tier interventions, SWIS (School Wide Information System),  RTI, Social Skills, classroom interventions and more.

Teachers, special educators, principals, special education directors, social workers, school counselors, and state leaders are all encouraged to attend. Ideally, a school or district will send a team comprised of representatives of
various grade levels, roles and administration.

Conference Outcomes

Conference outcomes include:

  • Acquire universal and Tier II strategies and interventions
  • Learn how teams have applied PBIS strategies to their schools
  • Acquire ideas and examples of school systems from those who are at years 1-4 of implementation
  • Participate in capacity building sessions and take back to your school useful information to apply now or as you implement PBIS
  • Get connected to a network of facilitators who will support your school or district as you implement PBIS
  • Learn how to apply PBIS foundation to classroom systems

Conference Keynoters

Susan Barrett
Susan Barrett is a national expert in school-wide PBIS. Currently, she works with the National Technical Assistance Center on PBIS working with 7 states across the nation to effectively implement PBIS through training and technical assistance.  She has trained over 2,000 school teams and 1000 behavior support coaches. Before joining the National PBIS Center, she served as the state-wide PBIS coordinator in Maryland for over 9 years. She has been published in the  areas of large-scale adoption of SW-PBS, cost-benefit analysis, and adoption of evidence-based practices in schools and currently serves on the Association of Positive Behavior Supports Board of Directors.

Susan also leads the training and technical assistance portion of the Maryland Safe and Supportive Schools grant (MDS3). Within the 3-tiered logic of PBIS, MDS3 provides high schools with technical assistance to support systematic selection, implementation and  monitoring of evidence based practices that address substance use, student engagement (truancy), school violence and bullying.

Terry Scott, Ph.D.
Terrance M. Scott is a Professor and Distinguished University Scholar in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Louisville. Having received his Ph.D. in Special Education at the University of Oregon in 1994 (with  an emphasis on emotional and behaviors) he has previously been a faculty member at the Universities of Kentucky, Florida, and Oregon. He has over 80 published articles, books, chapters, and training media on a variety of issues in the  areas of behavioral disorders and behavioral support systems and has conducted over 600 presentations and training activities throughout the U.S., Canada, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. Dr. Scott has successfully competed for more  than $5 million in external grant funding. In 2004 he received the Distinguished Early Career Award from the Research Division of the International Council for Exceptional Children and in 2012 he received the Outstanding National Leadership  Award from the Council for Children with Behavior Disorders.

In addition to delivering a conference keynote, Susan Barrett and Terry Scott will lead workshop sessions focusing on PBIS.

Conference Topics

Conference topics include:

  • Primary and Secondary Tier Interventions
  • Progress Monitoring and Data Management
  • Multi-Tier Systems of Student Support
  • Social Skills
  • How Instruction Affects Behavior
  • PBIS Classroom Essentials
  • Maine PBIS Film Festival
  • . . . and more

Conference Coordinator

Pat Red has 29 years experience in education. She has been at USM since 2005 and co-coordinator of the ETEP Unified K-8 Program and co-coordinator of SMART for schools. She is the PBIS State Coordinator and currently facilitates   over 10 School Districts. She also serves as a consultant and provides inservice professional development to schools throughout Maine.


Posted by on August 7th, 2012 Comments Off

Literacy Student, Heather Flanders, Receives 2012-2013 Thailand Educator Exchange Program Fellowship

Heather Flanders, a Literacy Education, English as a Second Language Master’s student, was awarded a fellowship to participate in the 2012-2013 Thailand Educator Exchange Program.

The 2012-2013 Thailand Educator Exchange Program provides an opportunity for participants to collaborate with a Thai educator in the United States. A reciprocal visit to Thailand is also part of the exchange program. The Program offers a unique opportunity for the participant and their international counterpart to share school administration experiences, develop school leadership and management models, and increase international understanding between Thailand and American Educators.

Congratulations to Heather Flanders for being selected for participation!

Posted by on June 25th, 2012 Comments Off

Scarborough Resident Receives Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fellowship

University of Southern Maine graduate Pamela Otunnu Porensky of Scarborough has been selected as a recipient of one of the 2012 Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fund (WW-RBF) Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color.

Porensky is one of 25 fellows chosen nationwide for this prestigious fellowship.  She will receive a $30,000 stipend to complete a master’s degree in education after which she will teach in a high-need public school. The fellowship is intended to provide support throughout a three-year teaching commitment and guidance toward teaching certification.

Porensky graduated from USM this spring with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and concentration in marketing. She will be a student in USM’s Extended Teacher Education Program (ETEP) this fall. “It’s very exciting to pursue a teaching degree. It will help me gain a better understanding of how to reach children and learn what they need, and how to best communicate that to others. There’s a lot to be done.”

Porensky hails from a family of public servants and change agents. Her uncle, Olara A. Otunnu, served the United Nations as special representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict from 1998-2005 and recently ran for president of Uganda, Porensky’s native country, in 2011 under the Uganda People’s Congress. It was at the U.N. Special Session on Children in 2001 that Porensky first developed a passion for working with youth. “I was there for two weeks, interviewing people who worked for the conference, including my uncle and Alfonso Valdivieso, former chair of the Security Council,” she said.  “I was looking at conflict through the world that children face, especially those in war-torn countries and those at a disadvantage point. I learned from them that children are very valuable. Children in countries like the United States shouldn’t take for granted the democratic system in which they live, or the educational opportunities they have. And youth who are fortunate should show solidarity to their peers who are not so fortunate, not only around the world, but also within their community.”

From this, Porensky sought ways to address such issues in Maine. “In the past few years, I’ve heard about the conflict for children from refugee countries, and I empathize with those families and parents,” she said. “Sometimes the parents didn’t attend school, so they themselves don’t know how to encourage their children to succeed. Kids are lost and don’t know which way to take.” Through the encouragement of her family and support of mentors such as William Burney, the first black mayor of Augusta, Maine and former chair of the Augusta Board of Education, Porensky channeled her passion and experience to start the Youth Empowerment Group in Portland, designed to provide outreach to disadvantaged youth of all nationalities through tutoring and mentoring. Run by students throughout the region, the group encouraged children to pave a path for a brighter academic and economic future.

Though the group has since dissolved, Porensky looks forward to new opportunities to serve her community through advocacy and education. She currently works with the NAACP as a volunteer to decrease the achievement gap in local schools. And as a future educator, she can already describe her goals in the classroom. “I would teach my students, but also let them know that they’re very smart and capable of teaching themselves. I’d like older students to mentor younger students, or to buddy up to help students struggling in the classroom. I want it to be a group effort, working to move forward together. I’d let children know that there is someone who cares for them by their side.”

Established in 1992 by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color were created to help recruit, support, and retain individuals of color as public education teachers and administrators. In May 2010, USM’s ETEP was designated to be one of 29 campuses nationwide to receive WW-RBF Fellows, and one of 49 nominating institutions. Fellows are selected based on an established commitment to teaching, and to creating opportunities for young people. Since the program’s inception, it has awarded nearly $8 million in grants and financial assistance to 400 fellows. To learn more about the foundation or the fellowships, visit the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation website.

Posted by on June 8th, 2012 Comments Off