COA's Summer Field Studies for Children.COA’s Educational Studies Program is approved by the Maine Department of Education (MDOE) to grant Maine Initial Teaching Certification for Elementary Education (grades K–8) or Secondary Education (grades 7–12) in Life Science, Social Studies, or English Language Arts. Students interested in teaching in other areas, such as arts or mathematics, can pursue certification via an MDOE transcript analysis. Maine is part of a reciprocity agreement so that certification in Maine extends to almost every US state.  

Many students at COA choose to take education classes but not pursue certification. These students are interested in education outside of a formal setting, seeking to work in outdoor or experiential education, museum interpretation, or other informal contexts. Our curriculum includes comparative, intercultural, and international education. This prepares students to teach culturally diverse learners in and outside the US.

Local partners

COA has strong partnerships with local public and private schools. Many of our classes are taught by local teachers, so students learn from expert practitioners. Almost all education classes involve visits to one or more local schools. Fieldwork, service learning, and school observations ensure that classroom learning is grounded in the daily experiences of K-12 teachers and students. Recent student teachers have taught at local schools as well as in Portland, ME and New York City.

Education and society

Many are drawn to education classes because they want to learn about the central role that education plays in forming and informing individuals and communities. Education classes are interdisciplinary and wide-ranging. For example, Changing Schools, Changing Society examines the potential and limits of education as an instrument of enlightened progress and lasting positive social, cultural, and environmental change. Femininity and Masculinity go to School centers around two key questions: How does gender influence students’ learning and experiences of school, curriculum and instruction, teacher-student relationships, school culture and administration? And how do schools perpetuate, resist, and construct gendered identities and gender roles?


  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p> <strong>Reminder</strong>: Areas of Study at COA aren’t majors or formal concentrations All COA students design their own <a href="/academics/human-ecology-degree/">major in human ecology</a> and are free to chart their own path. Your major is defined by you, not us.</p></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p> <strong>Reminder</strong>: ‘Areas of Study’ aren’t the only way to think about courses.  Browse and explore <a href="">here</a>.</p></div>



Adjunct faculty

Many of our classes are taught by adjunct faculty who are experienced educators in the local school system.

  • Kelley Sanborn. Director, Special Services, MDI Regional School System.  Supporting Students with Disabilities.
  • Siobhan Ryan. Librarian, Conners–Emerson School.  Children’s Literature.
  • Joanne Alex. Education Director, Stillwater Montessori School. Child Development, Integrated Methods II: Math, Science, and Social Studies.
  • Paula Moody,Literacy Specialist, Mount Desert Elementary School. Integrated Methods I: Reading and Writing.

  • Kate St. Denis, Math Specialist, Mount Desert Elementary School. Integrated Methods II: Math, Science, and Social Studies.