APRIL 2015
Funded by a $13 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, Maine is IT! is building new educational and career pathways in information technology at all seven of Maine's community colleges. The programs funded by the grant are designed to support Maine's TAA-eligible workers, un/under-employed adults, and workforce needs in Maine's growing IT sector. They have been built to serve individuals with a range of experience, from those interested in gaining basic IT skills to IT professionals looking to advance their careers through new industry certifications.
New IT offerings across Maine

York County Community College will launch four new IT programs this coming fall including an associate degree program in computer science, one-year certificate programs in networked systems technology and web development, and an advanced certificate in information security.

In addition, new courses in everything from computer forensics to network design to Linux operating systems will start in the coming weeks and months across the Maine Community College System.
Summer scholarships available

Students planning to study this fall in an IT related program at one of five Maine community colleges may be able to get a jump start on their studies with a $400 summer scholarship. The scholarships are being offered at CMCC, EMCC, KVCC, SMCC, and YCCC for both returning and new students and can be used for both credit and non-credit courses.

Wondering if you're eligible? Here are the guidelines. Students must:
  • Be at least 18 years of age,
  • Have completed a 2014-2015 FAFSA or a 2015-2016 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid),
  • Demonstrate financial need as determined by the college, and
  • Be accepted into a Maine is IT! related program for the Fall 2015 semester.
To learn more, contact the Maine is IT! staff at any of the five colleges.
Qualified. Motivated. 
IT students and graduates are making their mark 

Anna McElhany and Anthony Bartlett

Anna McElhany and Anthony Bartlett, graduates of IT programs at YCCC, are two of the newest employees at Plixer International in Kennebunk, a leading computer threat detection and forensic evidence provider. According to Scott Brown, the company's director of sales: "Plixer is growing very quickly, and it is critical to our continued success to have a pool of qualified individuals. YCCC, with the help of the Maine is IT! grant, has been a great partner in assisting us in hiring qualified and motivated employees."  

Andrew Constantine

19-year-old Andrew Constantine of Windham, a computer technology major at SMCC, was recently profiled in a U.S. News & World Report article on how community college can be a good starting point for students interested in STEM careers (science, technology, engineering, math). Andrew has landed a summer internship with the Maine Turnpike Authority's IT department, and his long-term goals include a master's degree and a career in computer networking or virtualization. But for now, he's happy to be studying at SMCC: "The computer technology degree program is filled with professors that want you to succeed.They are knowledgeable in what they teach and are able to help you not only academically but professionally."

Eric Mrazik

Eric Mrazik says if you have an IT problem he's your guy. The folks he works with as an intern in CMCC's IT department would agree. A student in the college's computer technology program, Eric has benefited from a Maine is IT! summer scholarship and has already earned four different Microsoft certifications. His advice for others: "If anyone is questioning whether they should be taking any of the Microsoft classes at CMCC, don't be shy to do it! These will open a lot of doors for you."
SMCC lab
SMCC Vice President Janet Sortor, President Ron Cantor, and Computer Science Chairman Adam Tambone cut the ribbon to open SMCC's new Computer Science & Engineering Center. 
At SMCC, the difference between old and new, "like night and day"
A new state-of-the-art Computer Science and Engineering Center at SMCC is enabling the college to strengthen and expand its IT programs to meet the needs of both students and employers.

SMCC's $3.2 million share of the Maine is IT! grant has helped pay for new classrooms, new computers and a new cutting-edge networking lab. The College has also developed a new degree program focusing on cybersecurity and added additional advising resources to help students achieve their academic goals.

Danelle Daley, vice president of Hosting Services at Falmouth's Tyler Technologies, said in response to the new center opening: "SMCC's efforts to upgrade its computer lab infrastructure represent a significant investment in Maine's information technology ecosystem. The virtualization technology and hardware equipment are aligned with the environments we use in our data centers. Students will gain invaluable experience on current systems, and employers will have the opportunity to gain great technical resources."

Corey Ramsey, an SMCC Computer Technology major, was even more succinct. He says the difference between the old and new equipment is "like night and day." As he says: "I feel very fortunate to be a student at SMCC right now with access to cutting-edge and state-of-the-art programs and technologies."
WCCC home to testing center

WCCC has become an official Microsoft testing center enabling the college to administer a variety of certification exams ranging from Microsoft Office 2013 Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote to Windows operating systems, servers, and networks.

"Becoming a Microsoft testing center supports our vision of WCCC being a resource and a partner of the community," said President Joe Cassidy. "We hope to offer additional certification exams through other vendors in the near future."

To schedule a Microsoft examination at the WCCC testing center, visit www.certiport.com, and select the link for test candidates, or call 207-454-1040.
Why IT matters
Short-term certificates may offer alternative to graduate school
From: U.S. News & World Report, March 18, 2015

A graduate degree is a great way for students to add to their skills and advance in, or even change, their career - but it's not the only way. Professional certifications and short-term certificate programs, like those offered at community colleges, allow students to add specific skills and specializations to their resume for a fraction of the time and tuition required for grad school.

"Certifications, as you progress in your career, are all about making you more employable," says Tom Darling, national director of workforce education at Pearson, an education services company.

This is especially true in fields such as information technology, which is increasingly certification-driven, he says.

"There are literally hundreds of certifications you can get, whether it is networking, security, maintenance, programming," says Darling. "Employers want someone with those skill sets."

Courses leading to certifications are included in this list of upcoming IT courses and programs.
Maine is IT! is funded in part by a $13 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. These are Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action programs. Adaptive equipment will be provided upon request to individuals with disabilities.

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The MCCS is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution and employer. For more information, please call the MCCS Human Resources Director at 207.629.4000. The complete notice of Non-Discrimination is available at: http://www.mccs.me.edu/nondiscrimination.html.