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  Spring 2015   
Interim President Derek Langhauser addresses the Maine legislature on state of the system

Interim MCCS President Derek Langhauser delivered his State of the Community College System address to the Maine legislature on March 3. In his remarks, he urged the legislature to fund the System's base budget request and support its student success initiatives to help more students remain in college and graduate. He concluded his remarks with the following:

"All of the people who I reference here this morning -- all of the people who our community colleges serve -- these are our striving neighbors and friends. They want and need access to the community colleges' low-cost, high-quality education and training because it both promises, and delivers, a direct return. They ask for nothing more, and they deserve nothing less."

The full text of President Langhauser's remarks are available here>>
From farm-to-table, two new programs sprout at KVCC 
Students enrolled in KVCC's new culinary arts degree program have access to the best tools of the trade: local, farm-fresh ingredients and a new state-of-the-art kitchen.

Located at the college's Harold Alfond Campus in Hinckley, the program works in close partnership with KVCC's new sustainable agriculture program and its Center for Farm-to-Table Innovation, which includes a 120-acre farm.

Students enrolled in the sustainable agriculture program harvested over 6,800 pounds of produce this past fall, a bounty that served the culinary arts program, the college's Food for Thought Café, and area food pantries.

The two programs benefit year-round from the output from the farm's livestock barn (sheep, pigs, chickens, and cows) and its heated greenhouse. Perhaps the best news of all: the first tomato seeds of the season will be planted in the greenhouse this month!
Culinary arts student Jacob Hayes creates an edible arrangement in KVCC's new kitchen.
Start here. Go anywhere.

In just one recent three-year period, graduates of Maine's community colleges transferred to over 223 different colleges and universities to continue their education. By far the greatest number of those students -- over 1,100 -- transferred to the University of Maine System. Maine's community colleges have forged hundreds of transfer agreements with four-year institutions, and they continue to add new agreements every year. The result: affordable and direct pathways to a four-year degree. Last month, EMCC and WCCC added two more options for their students:
Representatives from WCCC and Husson, including WCCC President Joe Casssidy (seated, second from left) met to sign a new articulation agreement.
Training for success: in the air and on the ground

Maine's community colleges delivered training to 99 businesses and nearly 2,000 workers last year, from York to Aroostook County. This year, the business and industry divisions at each of the colleges, together with training grants from the Maine Quality Centers program, are making it possible for many more workers and businesses to upgrade their skills. Two recent examples:
  • NMCC's wind power technology program delivered a three-day safety training course to personnel who work on the 600 kW wind turbine at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. The course focused on climbing techniques, the proper use of harnesses, and how to rescue co-workers in an emergency.
  • YCCC's Department of Business and Community Programs delivered management and leadership training to 37 employees of Northeast Coating Technologies (NCT) this winter. Another 25 participated in training last year. The training was funded by a Maine Quality Centers grant and delivered on-site at NCT. "As a small company we appreciate the commitment of YCCC to bring in-house training to our staff," said Cathy Spencer, the company's owner. "They really understand the needs of a growing business."
It takes a community

As President Langhauser noted in his speech to the legislature this month, Maine's community college students juggle a lot of competing demands. Nearly one-third work more than 30 hours a week while attending college, and nearly one-third have children at home.

But that doesn't stop them from doing what they can to make their communities better places to live. Every year they hold campus fundraisers, food drives, and blood drives. Many go even further in their efforts to make life better for their neighbors and friends.
  • NMCC students in the college's building construction and related programs have helped build 38 homes over the years in partnership with Presque Isle's Kiwanis Club. The long-standing Sinawik project is designed to provide lower-cost housing to area residents.
  • The Captain's Cupboard at SMCC is a student-run, campus food pantry serving needy students and their families. Recently, the college's Enactus Club collaborated with several other SMCC clubs and departments including horticulture, construction technology, sustainability, and art to build a greenhouse for the pantry. The group then built a second greenhouse, this time for the South Portland Boys and Girls Club, to provide gardening opportunities and encourage healthy eating.  

Every year, our students demonstrate -- in both big and small ways -- why we're called community colleges.

Students to be honored for academic and community achievements

Thirteen students will be honored by the MCCS Board of Trustees later this month as members of the All-Maine Academic Team sponsored by the Phi Theta Kappa program, an international honor society for two-year colleges. Students are nominated for the team based on outstanding academic achievement, leadership, and service.

This year's honorees include first-time adult college students and recent high school graduates. They are future teachers, police officers, entrepreneurs, health care workers, and more. Here are a few who described in their own words why they chose to attend a community college:

Chyanna Millett-Cordwell, CMCC
Criminal Justice/Forensic Investigation
Career Goal:
State Police investigator

CMCC provided an environment that fit my personality and needs as a student. It provided excellent transfer and career options that could help me work towards my bachelor's degree once I received my associate degree...It was exactly what I needed to start out.

Joshua Pike, NMCC 
Majors: Diesel Hydraulics and Automotive Technology
Career Goal: Small business owner and technician

I chose to go back to school at age 28 to provide a legacy for my kids. I realized I needed to go back to school and get my degree so I could get a good job. I eventually want to open my own shop, building, customizing, and modifying vehicles.
Recipe of the month 
This month's recipe comes from Jill Hannaford, Executive Chef and Manager at the McKernan Hospitality Center at SMCC. This Mushroom, Lentil, Spinach and Spicy Nut Wellington was a featured item at the Center's Valentine's Day dinner, prepared by SMCC culinary arts student interns under Hannaford's watchful eye. 
News Briefs

High praise -- Maine's community colleges have earned high praise from a number of sources lately. Take a moment to see why:
Maine Women's Hall of Fame to honor Dr. Woodlee -- Dr. Barbara Woodlee, former president of KVCC and current chief academic officer for MCCS, will be honored on March 21, 2015, by the Maine Federation of Business Women, for paving the way for women in higher education. The group established the Maine Women's Hall of Fame in 1990 to honor women who have made outstanding contributions to improving opportunities for all Maine women. Read more>>

NIH grant supports student research -- A group of SMCC biotechnology and marine science students spent part of their winter break at Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory studying cell cultures from sharks, zebrafish, frogs, and other animals. The students are continuing to analyze their data and will present their findings later this year at the 42nd annual Maine Biological and Biomedical Sciences Symposium at the MDI laboratory and at the Thinking Matters symposium at USM. Read more>>

New EMCC degree to support tourism in the Katahdin region -- EMCC is developing a new degree program in outdoor recreation and tourism that will allow up to 24 students to live, study, and work in the Millinocket region over the course of two years. Graduates, who will earn their Registered Maine Guide license as part of the program, will be prepared for employment with state, county, and municipal parks; guiding and outfitting companies; recreational facilities; and other employers tied to the region's abundant natural resources. The college will begin accepting applications March 18th to the program that will start this fall.
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