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 workers eligible for the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, un/underemployed 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.
KVCC student Paul Everett assists fellow student Roman Blyzniuk with the latest network server hardware.
New equipment and upgrades boost IT programs

Maine's community colleges, with the help of the Maine is IT! grant, are meeting the ever changing demands of the IT industry and ensuring that students benefit from learning on the newest equipment available to them.

Recent enhancements include new network servers at Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC). With the new equipment, the applied electronics and computer technology program has expanded its training to include mobile devices and Apple computers. Students are being trained to set up, configure, and certify computer network installations. This intensive hands-on training is providing students with the knowledge, professional certifications, and technical IT skills in demand by local employers.

In addition, KVCC's newly enhanced applied engineering technology program provides students with a direct pathway to earn a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering technology at the University of Maine at Orono.

Eastern Maine Community College (EMCC) has enhanced its IT classrooms with state-of-the-art equipment, including 3-D printers, a new Mac lab for the digital graphic design program, new work stations for the college's expanded CADD & computer systems tech labs, and updated software programs in digital graphics, CADD, health information technology, and computer systems technology.   
Putting IT to work -- a path to employment
Kyle Fleming
Having served as a student help desk technician and resident assistant at Central Maine Community College (CMCC), Kyle Fleming knows CMCC students' IT needs very well. He earned his computer technology degree from CMCC in 2014 and is currently working towards his degree in information technology at the University of Southern Maine.

In the meantime, he has earned numerous industry certifications through CMCC and was recently hired by the college as a full-time information systems support specialist II.

Patrick Ward graduated this year with a degree in computer systems technology from EMCC and is working full time as the IT administrator for a nation-wide property management company in Portland where he oversees the IT help desk operations. "I use the management, server, networking, and human relations skills that I learned at EMCC on a daily basis to ensure my future in the IT industry." Read more>>  
Brian Mitchell
Brian Mitchell of Eastport was one of the first students to enroll in the college's new computer technology
program at Washington County Community College (WCCC).

His interest in computers and information technology began in high school while attending St. Croix Regional Technical Center. His high school experience was the catalyst for him to enroll at WCCC and start his own computer consulting service.

Brian will graduate from WCCC in May of 2016 with an associate degree in computer technology and has already been hired as a network support technician at Calais Regional Hospital.
A new test center for northern Maine

NMCC will officially open a new Certification & Assessment Center this fall to provide students and businesses with a convenient location to complete certification and licensure testing.

The center will be the first of its kind in Aroostook County offering test delivery services for multiple vendors, including ATI Testing, Certiport, the College Board, PAN Testing, Pearson VUE, and Prometric, along with access to many other vendor sponsored certification exams such as NIMS and NABCEP.

While the center will provide prior learning assessment, certification, licensure, and placement testing for NMCC students, it will also assist local businesses in exam delivery. Previously, businesses and their employees had to travel hundreds of miles, sometimes even to Canada, to a testing center.

Renovations to Aroostook Hall, where the center will be housed, will also provide new classroom and lab space for the college's revamped computer and network technology program. The Maine is IT! grant will provide lab equipment and classroom technology for the new academic space as well. More info>>
A new member of YCCC's computer science classes  

Hello. My name is NAO.
As part of the Maine is IT! grant, York County Community College (YCCC) has invested in a NAO robot to be used in upper level computer science and programming courses.

The NAO is a two-foot humanoid and interactive robot that will become a permanent member of the YCCC upper level computer science classes.

"The NAO allows us to get students excited about programming and to teach software development at a number of increasingly sophisticated levels," says Mark Monnin, chair of the YCCC computer science department.

The IT staff has been enjoying programming the NAO, which is already capable of dancing, performing Tai Chi, and telling you his name. In fact, when a federal grant evaluator made a recent visit to YCCC, the NAO introduced himself.
EMCC's Summer Success Academy prepares students for college and careers

A number of Maine is IT! students took part in EMCC's new Summer Success Academy, a two-week initiative that prepares students for the academic, social, and personal rigors of college life.

The program allowed students to build confidence in their academic abilities and learn how to manage their time, schedule classes, take notes, study for exams, and be successful college students. The Academy builds upon the advising and counseling Maine is IT! students already receive from EMCC Student Navigator Mike Fixaris. See what EMCC has to offer.
SMCC students lunch and learn with IT professionals

This spring, Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) launched its Brown Bag Lunch series to connect Maine is IT! students with IT managers from area businesses.

The lunch-and-learn series is designed to provide connections between course content and workplace opportunities, while setting realistic job expectations for IT students.

Among the businesses participating: IDEXX, Tyler Technologies, the City of South Portland, Systems Engineering, Goodwill Industries of Northern New England, Carbonite, and Plixer.

The guest speakers this spring shared their stories of becoming IT professionals, described what an IT career looks like at their company, and offered guidance on what critical skills are needed to be a successful applicant. SMCC faculty helped identify speakers and career paths that are appropriate for students in SMCC's computer science, information technology, and computer information security degree programs.
Participating employers enjoyed the sessions and the opportunity to learn more about SMCC's IT degree curriculum and its students while starting the recruitment process.

"We hope to double participation in the 2015-2016 academic year, and exciting plans are in the works including a round-table discussion with recent computer technology graduates in late September and WEX Week in early October," said SMCC Student Navigator Katharine Lualdi.

This fall, the college is planning a guest lecture program and facilitated customized recruitment sessions. For more information contact Katharine Lualdi.
MCCS works to expand college credit for prior learning

Maine is IT! is enabling the state's community colleges to better assess and award credit for learning that occurs outside the classroom.

As part of the $13 million Department of Labor grant, IT faculty and staff from a variety of functions across the MCCS participated in prior learning assessment (PLA) training this summer. The training will allow them to begin implementing more standardized assessments of learning gained through national CLEP, Advanced Placement, and DSST exams; military experience; registered apprenticeships; workforce training; and certifications.

Having cohesive and robust PLA programs at all seven community colleges is an important tool to help students save money, accumulate more credits, and complete their degrees. It also will enable the MCCS and University of Maine System to strengthen transfer between the two systems and insure that credit awarded for prior learning is consistent and accepted at Maine's public colleges and universities.

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: