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June 2015
Making transfer easier
and college more affordable

University of Maine System Chancellor James Page and Maine Community College System President Derek Langhauser signed a comprehensive and far reaching transfer agreement on Monday, June 8, that is designed to reduce college costs for Maine students and speed their time to degree completion.

Until now, the transfer process between the UMS and MCCS has been guided by over 150 articulation agreements between specific programs of study. These agreements determine which credits will transfer and whether they will count toward degree requirements.

The new general education block transfer agreement, which is intended to be fully operational by fall of 2016, will enable students to complete up to 35 credits of general education requirements at any of the 14 institutions of the MCCS and UMS and then transfer that block of credits, for full credit, to any of the other institutions within the two systems.
"Every year, over 750 of our students transfer to the University of Maine System," noted President Langhauser. "This agreement and other joint transfer initiatives are designed to make the process even smoother and to make sure Maine students are able to get the education they need as quickly and affordably as possible.

"Thanks to the hard work of faculty and staff across our institutions, this agreement will help ensure that our students are prepared to be successful at each step in their educational journey."

The new block transfer agreement builds on two other UMS/MCCS transfer initiatives currently underway. The first of these is a practice known as reverse transfer that enables MCCS students who transfer to the UMS before earning a community college credential to transfer credits earned at the UMS back to the community college to complete their MCCS degree or certificate.

The second addresses how the two systems award credit for prior learning and work experience. Faculty committees at both the UMS and MCCS are currently working to ensure that students can carry forward prior learning credits awarded by any of the 14 institutions as they transfer between the two systems.

Both Chancellor Page and President Langhauser noted that these transfer initiatives have required significant effort on the part of faculty and administrators at both the UMS and MCCS as they work to align curriculum, develop common assessments, and implement new policies and practices at their institutions. That collaboration will continue as the groups implement the new block transfer agreement, redesign courses, develop common assessment approaches, monitor progress, and create additional educational pathways in technical fields of study.
Hats off to the class of 2015!

Over 3,000 students graduated from
Maine's community colleges in May. More than 90 percent of them are expected to enter the workforce or continue their educations. Meet a few of them. 

Angel Pacheco completed her degree in liberal studies at EMCC, was chosen Student of the Year, and will continue her education at UMaine where she will study nursing.  
Saman Baghestani
completed his degree in business management at SMCC with a 4.0 GPA, was named Maine's New Century Scholar, and is now working on his bachelor's degree at Northeastern University.
Alana-Marie Pulkkinen graduated with a double major in adventure recreation and tourism and criminal justice from WCCC, was named Student of the Year, and will transfer to Unity College this fall to study conservation law.

The first 10 students graduated from YCCC's new precision machining technology program this spring. The majority of the graduates are already working at businesses that include Pratt and Whitney, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, General Dynamics and Maine Manufacturing, while others are going on to further their education.

New scholarship to help adult learners
reach educational goals

A $2 million gift from the Next Generation Foundation has enabled the Maine Community Foundation to establish an endowed scholarship for adult learners at EMCC and WCCC. The Adult College Completion Fund will provide recipients with annual scholarships of $3,500 which will be awarded through The Foundation for Maine's Community Colleges.
Customized training prepares former mill workers for careers in fine woodworking

Tim Nickerson worked at the Verso Mill in Bucksport for 31 years. When it closed, he needed to get back into the workforce quickly.

He was not alone.

Some 500 employees were affected by the Verso
closing. In response, EMCC's Business and Industry Division developed a customized, fine woodworking training program for the mill's employees.

Nickerson is now one of 10 former Verso workers enrolled in the program. Many of them had worked in the mill for more than 30 years. Students in the program are earning 14 college credits and industry certifications that will make them attractive to employers like Hinckley Yachts in Trenton, which has been actively involved with the program.

When the training ends in July, Nickerson is optimistic about his job prospects and hopes to find employment as a carpenter with a local boat builder or cabinet maker.

"It's nice to do something different after all these years," he says. "I did the same job for so long. Now, I get to go home and see the results of what I'm doing."

Watch a WCSH6 news story featuring Tim Nickerson and his classmates>>
Tim Nickerson (r) learns fine woodworking techniques under the watchful eye of EMCC instructor Armand Auclair.
Mitchell Scholars to study in Ireland
Brianna Crosby (center) is one of two Maine community college students who will study in Ireland next year as a 2015 George J. Mitchell Peace Scholar. You can hear Brianna talk about her experiences at CMCC and her plans for the future in a recent radio interview interview.

Crosby a 2015 graduate of CMCC's business administration and management - culinary arts/hospitality program will spend the spring 2016 semester in Ireland, and Christopher Hunt (below), a student in SMCC's criminal justice program, will go abroad this fall. Both will study at Cork Institute of Technology.

The George J. Mitchell Peace Scholarship provides opportunities for students from the Maine Community College System and the University of Maine System to study in Ireland for a semester or a year. The scholarship honors Senator Mitchell for his role brokering the Northern Ireland Peace accord between the governments and people of Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Good eats from the KVCC farm

KVCC's Center for Farm to Table Innovation shared this recipe for Lemon Lime Basil Shortbread cookies, featured at the April 2015 Culinary Festival at the Augusta Civic Center.
News Briefs

Low cost. High value. -- In an ongoing examination of college affordability in Maine, the Portland Press Herald in April called community colleges "possibly the best-kept secret about higher education." As the paper observed: "In the face of soaring college tuition, tight household budgets and the specter of graduating with large amounts of student debt, more students are using the famously low-cost community college system as a steppingstone on the way to a four-year degree."

Life science a new degree at CMCC
-- This fall CMCC will offer a new associate degree program in life science to provide students with a broad, general survey of scientifically accumulated knowledge focused on life and biological sciences. Students completing the degree will be prepared to enter the workforce as scientific technicians or to transfer into science, technology, engineering, or math majors at four-year colleges and universities.

Gorman Scholarship created
-- The Leon A. Gorman Endowed Scholarship fund has been created by the families of Leon and Lisa Gorman to support Maine community college students who exemplify Mr. Gorman's long-standing commitment to community service and academic achievement. The fund was established in honor of Mr. Gorman's 80th birthday by the couple's children.

CMCC student to study at Vassar -- Jessica Staples, a student in CMCC's general studies program, has been accepted to the Exploring Transfer program at Vassar College, a 5-week summer program designed for community college students interested in continuing their education at a competitive four-year college.

Lights, camera, action -- The NMCC library has opened a One Button Studio to provide students, faculty, and community members with all they need to create their own professional videos. The studio was built with a grant from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation and was the subject of a WAGM news segment in March.

Students learn hospitality skills -- Ten students graduated in February from SMCC's Hospitality Rising Stars Academy, which provided 96 hours of entry-level hospitality training to unemployed and underemployed Mainers. All of the graduates have had job interviews and most have been hired or offered paid internships. The program was funded by the MCCS Maine Quality Centers program.

YCCC preparing more vet techs for Maine -- YCCC's new vet tech program was recently highlighted in a Portland Press Herald article for its role in helping to address a growing workforce need in the state's animal care industry. YCCC began offering classes toward the associate degree in fall 2013.

When a house is much more than a home -- For each of the past 38 years, NMCC and the Presque Isle Kiwanis Club have partnered to build a home for an area family. During the design and construction, the home functions as a hands-on learning lab for students in nearly all of the college's trades programs. Students in the computer aided drafting program prepare the construction plans, and first-year students in the building construction program complete the framing. The house is then turned over to plumbing, heating, and electrical students before the senior residential construction students complete the finish work. When it's all done, the learning lab is turned over to its new owners who are happy to call it home. Read more>>

WCCC students earn the gold -- Four WCCC students won gold medals at the 2015 SkillsUSA Maine State Championships. They will represent Maine at the national championships this month in Louisville, KY. Read more>>

National magazine highlights SMCC composite program -- Composites Manufacturing magazine featured SMCC's composite science program in its April issue saying the college is making a difference in training the next generation of composites professionals.

Maine Community College System | 207-767-0116 | [email protected] |
Maine Community College System
323 State Street
Augusta, ME 04330