Fall 2019
Enrollment is up at Maine's community colleges
Maine's community colleges have hit the ground running this fall, with a sharp increase in students so far in degree programs and in short-term job training programs.

Preliminary enrollment figures show that, as of September 23rd, there was a 6.3 percent increase in enrolled students at Maine's community colleges compared to the same time last year. All seven colleges reported increases including EMCC, which was up 10.4 percent, and SMCC, which was up 8.2 percent.
 
The increase is in sharp contrast to a years-long trend nationwide of declining enrollments at two-year public colleges. The strong showing is due in part to a number of new initiatives at the colleges ---    like doubling the number of visits to some high schools, replacing group orientations with one-on-one orientation sessions; reaching prospective students through texting instead of email; and adding new high-demand programs including plumbing, HVAC and esports.
 
There's a lot of hustle behind those numbers!

Annual short-term job training numbers are even better: In the last year, almost twice as many trainees graduated from programs funded by Maine Quality Centers (MQC) than in the previous year. Those high-demand programs (there were 235 applications for 40 spots in EMCC's free medical assisting program) include welding programs at KVCC and SMCC and a computer support program at CMCC.
 
The system also offers other learning pathways, from joint programs with the state's career and technical centers for high school students to a new micro-credential initiative. For high school students, a new one-plus-one program at EMCC lets them earn a one-year that students earn for gaining specialized job skills.
 
Learn more about these and other new programs.
Emilyann Drumm was born to be a CMCC student

It was "Y2K," Bill Clinton was president, AOL was still mailing out "free trial" CDs, and Cher topped the Billboard charts with "Believe."

And in Lewiston, a little girl was born at St. Mary's hospital. As the first baby born in 2000, Emilyann Drumm and her parents received a letter from then-Central Maine Technical College President Scott Knapp with the gift of free tuition. It was a way for the hospital to celebrate what the year 2000 would mean for the hospital and the college.

Nineteen years later, with the letter in hand, Emilyann enrolled at Central Maine Community College - with President Knapp still at the helm. And we couldn't be happier. As President Knapp told the Sun Journal: "I still remember thinking at that time, 'Gee whiz, this will be a great news story.'"
Short-term training, long-term benefits
 
MCCS: Short-Term Training
Demand for short-term training is booming as Maine faces a severe workforce shortage. New short-term training programs at Maine's community colleges are helping to fill the gap. Hundreds of trainees are taking advantage of these programs, which are fast, cost effective and targeted to deliver the skills needed for specific jobs. 
 
Check out the latest offerings and watch this video to learn more about what's available.
 
Zero to $50K in 12 weeks 
Fifteen individuals graduated from the community colleges' free mechanized logging operations program recently, putting them in a position to earn starting salaries of up to $50,000 a year. Demand for the program is high ---   55 people were turned away from the last group because of limited capacity. Check out the great photos and story about the latest class in the Portland Press Herald.

The three-month training program was developed in partnership with the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, MQC, NMCC, EMCC and WCCC, with support from industry partners. The tuition-free program has been offered since 2017.
Grad: "YCCC saved me a ton of time and a ton of money."

MCCS: Meaningful Work That Matters
As a student at Sanford High School, Ian Kelly took a precision machining course ---   and was hooked.

He applied for a position at Pratt & Whitney and was hired full time just before he graduated from high school in 2015.

With financial support from Pratt & Whitney, which paid for his tuition and books, he enrolled part time at YCCC and began working on his degree in precision machining technology. The supportive environment at YCCC allowed him to continue to work full time and still have time to study.

"YCCC has saved me a ton of time and a ton of money, and it's made me ready for my career. I am job ready," Ian said just before graduating from YCCC in May 2019.

Ian continues to gain experience at Pratt & Whitney and is looking forward to taking on more responsibility at work as his skills continue to develop. Hear Ian discuss the value of meaningful work in this MCCS video.
What's in your ocean?
A marine science student take in a view of Spring Point Light in Casco Bay.
SMCC marine science students are involved in cutting-edge coastal research funded through a $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

Called the Maine-eDNA initiative, the large-scale effort will monitor aquatic life in coastal waters through the use of environmental DNA, or eDNA. SMCC will team up with Bigelow Laboratory and Colby College to use eDNA to monitor harmful algal blooms in Casco Bay.

The emergence of eDNA research has been called vital to protecting fishing, lobstering, aquaculture and other marine industries central to Maine's economy.
Hey neighbor, come on over for lunch or dinner!

Visit one of our community colleges and learn how to cook or let us cook for you.
Free for many. Affordable for all.

Maine's community colleges, at $94 a credit hour for in-state tuition, continue to offer the lowest tuition in New England. A two-year associate degree for Maine students averages $3,700. For half of our students, financial aid covers the full cost of tuition and fees. In all, 74% of all full-time, degree seeking students receive financial aid.
News Briefs

There's a badge for that
CMCC and EMCC have launched new badging initiatives that allow students to gain specialized job skills quickly and affordably. Once students earn digital badges for technical, industry specific, or soft skills they can post them on platforms like LinkedIn to show employers the skills they have mastered.

NMCC brings EMS training to WCCC
NMCC will deliver its emergency medical services/paramedicine
program to 15 WCCC students over the next two years, providing EMS education in Washington County. The program is funded with an MCCS Bring College to ME grant.

Working to change lives 
Nursing students enrolled in CMCC's nursing program at LincolnHealth in Damariscotta are learning how to change lives through their work as nurses. And making courses available to students in their home communities is making a big difference in their own lives. "For the first time in my life, I will be able to fully support myself and my two children financially without having to rely on my family and state funding," CMCC nursing student Michelle Flanders told the Boothbay Register. "The work schedule is perfect for me so I can spend time with my family and see my daughter off to school every morning."   
   
Train, hire, repeat: Meeting huge demand at BIW
General Dynamics/Bath Iron Works (BIW) hopes to hire 1,000 new workers to keep pace with demand and has turned to Maine's community colleges to help train its workforce. Their partnership was highlighted by WMTW. More than 500 people have been trained in the last year.

Helping meet students' basic needs
It's hard to focus on coursework when you're hungry. Maine's community colleges are working to insure that students have access to healthy food when they need it. A new public awareness campaign at the colleges directs students to food resources. As part of this effort, NMCC has secured a grant to make meal packs, including a full day's worth of non-perishable food and snacks, available to students.

Back at school
WCCC is offering scholarships to help adults finance and finish their degree. The Soaring Back scholarships can help Maine residents who have previously taken WCCC courses complete their degree, or those with no college credit get started on their education.

Turning pro
Thirty-five SMCC students participated in a three-week, live-in program at 30 Maine fire/EMS stations this summer to gain real-world experience as part of the college's fire science degree program. North Yarmouth Fire Chief told the Portland Press Herald; "This gives them the hands-on skills they need to do the job."

KVCC comes to Rockland
KVCC will be offering courses at the new Mid-Coast School of Technology starting with a health science certificate program. The facility officially opened Sept. 9.
Maine Community College System
207-629-4000 | info@mccs.me.edu | www.mccs.me.edu
323 State Street |Augusta, ME 04330

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