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In This Issue
Future for ME promotes careers in machining
MCCS celebrates record number of graduates
Program helps adults complete degree
MCCS honors top students
New culinary arts center at YCCC
Recipe of the month
Barbara Bush Foundation honors student achievement
News briefs
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Spring 2012
MCCS launches "exciting model" to help prepare next generation of skilled wSkilled workersorkers
A new MCCS initiative -- the Future for ME -- will provide high school students in Maine with the opportunity to prepare for high wage, high skilled jobs in the state's precision machining industry.

The pilot program is a collaboration between the MCCS, the Great Bay Foundation, and the M
anufacturers Association of Maine, and will provide 28 students -- identified in their junior and senior years of high school -- with academic support and career guidance to prepare them for enrollment in CMCC's precision machining technology program.

Once accepted into CMCC's program, participants will receive $4,500 in scholarship assistance to cover the costs of tuition, fees, and books for a one-year certificate program in precision machining. The program will serve as a model for collaborations with other key Maine industries in the future, said MCCS President John Fitzsimmons.

"The Future for ME offers an exciting model for how partners in the public and private sectors can work together to build strong bridges between secondary and post-secondary opportunities in Maine," noted Stephen Bowen, Maine's Commissioner of Education, in helping to announce the new initiative.

Photo: Kyle Forsythe, a second-year CMCC student from Harrison, operates a computerized numerical-control machine in a precision machinery technology class. Photo courtesy of the Lewiston Sun Journal.
Commencement 2012: cause for celebration
More students than ever before -- over 3,000 -- graduated from Maine's seven community colleges in May.

Graduation 390

"We celebrate the accomplishments of every one of these students," noted MCCS President John Fitzsimmons in announcing the largest graduating class in MCCS history. "We also celebrate what their accomplishments will mean for Maine.

"We expect that well over 90% of our graduates who enter the workforce over the next few months will do so in Maine and will help fuel the state's economy by providing employers with skilled and hard-working employees."

Photo: Matthew MacDonald of Turner (center with blue medal) stands as he is recognized as CMCC's Student of the Year during the college's commencement ceremony.  Photo courtesy of the Lewiston Sun Journal.
November bond would help address burgeoning enrollments
Voters will be asked in November to approve an $11 million bond question for higher education that includes $3 million to help renovate and expand existing classroom and lab facilities at the state's community colleges. The $3 million designated for the MCCS would also enable three of the colleges to expand their precision machining programs in response to strong demand for skilled workers in the industry.
Getting it done. Accelerate ME helps adults complete their degree
A new pilot program at three of Maine's community colleges is addressing a growing national concern: the number of adults with some college credit but no degree. The issue is especially significant in Maine where an estimated 20% of working age adults (more than 185,000 individuals) have earned some college credit but lack a degree.

Funded by a grant from the Kresge Foundation and supported by a number of other donors including Unum, Accelerate ME is designed to address many of the barriers that have prevented adults from completing a degree.

Shelly Stevens, 44, of Bridgton, who received her degree from CMCC this week said she would not be graduating from college without Accelerate ME and then corrected herself:  "Well, maybe in 15 years." A mother while she was still in high school, she started taking college courses in the 1990s and earned credits from a number of institutions.  When she found herself unemployed last year, she still needed 25 credits to obtain her degree. "The scholarship 'at my age' made a big difference," she says. "No one ever gives scholarships to people like me."

Students who enroll in the program receive financial assistance to cover the costs of tuition, mandatory fees, and books so that they can enroll in college full time. The program also provides them with comprehensive academic and student support services and priority scheduling of classes so that they can complete their academic requirements as quickly as possible.

One hundred and nine students enrolled in the program in the fall of 2011. Fifty-seven of them have already completed their degree from CMCC, SMCC, or YCCC. For many of them, including Shelly Stevens, graduation came years, even decades, after they first began working towards that goal.

To learn more about Accelerate ME and admissions requirements for the program, visit the MCCS website.

MCCS leads in affordability
This spring, for the eighth time in 14 years, the MCCS Board of Trustees has frozen tuition for the coming academic year.  The result: Maine's community college--with average annual tuition and fees of $3,300 -- are now the most affordable colleges in New England.

Over the past five years, in-state tuition and fees at Maine's public two-year colleges has increased just 11 percent, according to a September 2011 report from the New England Board of Higher Education. During that same time period, tuition and fees at peer institutions across New England increased 31 percent.

A recent editorial in the Maine Sunday Telegram noted the critical connection between college costs and access to higher education: "The key to the Community College System's success is keeping the program accessible, which in Maine means keeping the cost down. The community colleges have succeeded in doing that and the record graduating class is the result."
Student Scholars honored by MCCS Trustees
The MCCS All-Maine Academic Team and the colleges' Students of the Year were honored recently by the MCCS Board of Trustees. Their academic, personal, and community achievements are impressive.  Read some of their inspiring stories, in their own words.

Cody Hand
Cody Hand, EMCC
Student of the Year

"I came here for an education but I am leaving with much more than that. I am taking with me memories, life experiences, long-lasting friendships...Community College gives you all of the tools and opportunities, and it paves the road for success, but you must be willing to walk that road, take advantage of those opportunities, and utilize those tools to transform yourself into someone who is ready to start their career."
Michelle Longley

Michelle Longley, NMCC
All Maine Academic Team
"The college has given me a wonderful foundation in preparing me for a career. I have enjoyed the college experience. Even being out of school for six years did not affect my ability to learn and excel in my courses. NMCC is a great place for non-traditional students, or for someone needing a fresh start to begin a career or prepare them for a university, as it has for me."

Victoria Henderson, SMCC

Student of the Year
"I had been laid off from my job, and needed some training for a new career. SMCC's electrical engineering technology program gave me the opportunity to gain skills in a wide range of tasks needed for a career in this field. There are opportunities here for folks who are interested in business, music, sports, gaming, extra academics, volunteering and more."
YCCC opens new culinary arts center
Thanks to a $190,000 donation from the Hannaford Charitable Foundation and support from The Foundation for Maine's Community Colleges, YCCC has doubled the space of its culinary arts kitchen and laboratory, allowing the college to better prepare students for careers in the industry. The new Hannaford Center for Culinary Arts at YCCC officially opened last month.

According to Charles Galemmo, a faculty member in the college's culinary arts program, the new kitchen provides the equipment and space necessary to teach the 62 students enrolled in the program the skills needed to be successful.

Education and training opportunities are vital building blocks of healthy communities," said Hannaford President Beth Newlands Campbell. "Hannaford is pleased to partner with YCCC on a project that will expand and improve learning opportunities at The Hannaford Center for Culinary Arts."

Photo: l to r Beth Shorr, President of The Foundation for Maine's Community Colleges joins YCCC culinary arts student Beth Walker and Hannaford President Beth Newlands Campbell in opening the Hannaford Center for Culinary Arts at YCCC.
Recipe of the month
Recipe of the month Now that YCCC has an expanded culinary arts facility, instructor Charles Galemmo has plans for the department to offer a baking and pastry degree option and, in the future, concentrations in artisanal foods to support the state's cheese and bread industries. Already his students are gaining attention for their skills. This month Galemmo shares the award winning recipe for Coffee Cheesecake Truffle, which was developed by YCCC culinary arts students Patrick Mazzillo and Beth Walker and was the winner of the Best Cheesecake at the 2012 Chocolate Lover's Fling. See more recipes from the talented chefs and culinary arts students at Maine's community colleges.
Two of Maine's longest serving college presidents retire in 2012
Drs. Joyce Hedlund and Barbara Woodlee, who have served a combined total of 47 years as college presidents within the
Joyce Hedlund and Barbara Woodlee
Dr. Joyce Hedlund (l) and Dr. Barbara Woodlee (r)
Maine Community College System, will both retire in 2012.

Dr. Woodlee joined the staff at Kennebec Valley Community College (then Kennebec Valley Vocational Technical Institute) in 1976.  She became the institution's president in 1984.

Dr.  Hedlund served as president at Eastern Maine Community College for 16 years before becoming president of Washington County Community College in 2010.

"The growth and vitality of Maine's community colleges over the past several decades are due, in very large part, to the dedication and vision of Joyce Hedlund and Barbara Woodlee," said MCCS President John Fitzsimmons as he announced their retirements. "The colleges they have served have thrived under their leadership. Thousands of students have achieved their educational dreams because Joyce and Barbara cared about providing opportunity for each and every one of them."
Barbara Bush celebrates inspiring stories of a YCCC graduate and two future SMCC students
A graduate of YCCC and two future SMCC students have been honored by former first lady Barbara Bush and her Foundation for Family Literacy for their impressive achievements in building better lives for themselves and their families.
  • Jessica Regis became pregnant in the tenth grade and dropped out of high school, but she didn't give up on her education. She earned her high school diploma through the Sanford Community Adult Education program and then enrolled at YCCC and graduated with an associate's degree in 2008. Today, she is the director of the Sanford Adult Ed's First Steps Childcare Program, a program that supported her and her first child while she was studying for her high school diploma and that receives funding from Mrs. Bush's foundation.
  • Michelle and Tony Lucas also dropped out of high school in tenth grade when Michelle became pregnant. When their second daughter was born six years later and Tony was laid off from his job, they enrolled their older daughter in Bath's SAIL Into Literacy Program (another program funded by Mrs. Bush's foundation) and signed up for adult education classes.  They earned their GEDs, found jobs and now aspire to continue their education. This spring, the Foundation for Family Literacy helped move that dream one step closer to reality when it awarded each of them a $4,000 scholarship to attend Southern Maine Community College.
Read more about the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and the award recipients.
News briefs
Ron Cantor
Ron Cantor
It's official. SMCC inaugurates its new president --Ronald Cantor was sworn in as the third president of SMCCon May 4. Cantor assumed the presidency of the college last August, having previously served as a senior administrator at Mohawk Valley Community College in New York.

KVCC, WCCC receive national recognition
-- KVCC and WCCC have been named two of the best community colleges in the nation by The Aspen Institute. They are among 120 community colleges around the country to be recognized by the Institute for their efforts to ensure student success and are in the running for $1 million in awards.

NMCC's Kilcollins writes the book on wind power maintenance -- NMCC wind power technology instructor Wayne Kilcollins has written a new college textbook focused on wind turbine maintenance. "Maintenance Fundamentals for Wind Technicians" will be released this month. Kilcollins helped create the wind power technology program at NMCC, one of the first of 10 such programs in the U.S. to serve the nation's growing wind industry. "When the program began, we had to be creative in using academic resources from Europe and the general industry," Kilcollins says. "Now we have a textbook specifically designed for our colleges."

NMCC receives $5 million gift -- A $5 million donation from Mary Barton Akeley Smith, a Presque Isle native and California resident will have a transformative impact on NMCC, allowing the college to renovate and repurpose two of its largest facilities. Smith last year also gave the college a $1.2 million gift to advance the school's alternative energy program offerings.

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