Fall 2020
Welcome back to Maine's community colleges!

Fall's here and students are back, enrolled in a mix of remote and in-person options in line with COVID-related safety protocols. We've expanded our late start options, extending the opportunity for fall classes for students who were still working out their college plans or found their fall plans changing or delayed by the pandemic.

In general, we're offering remote instruction to about 70 percent of our students, and in-person to the remaining 30 percent  ---   all of whom need to be taught face-to-face because of essential hands-on instruction and demonstration. Every inch of our physical spaces has been evaluated and overhauled to maximize safety, and students, staff and faculty on campus are trained on health and safety guidelines.

College may be different under COVID, but faculty and staff are pulling out all the stops to get students engaged in online activities, making sure they have the tools to be successful studying online and providing a wide range of student supports.

All that is allowing us to embrace what we're here to do: Learn! 
A busy summer helping Mainers bounce back!!

Phew! Last summer was easily one of the busiest on record for our free, short-term training programs offered by MCCS' Maine Quality Centers (MQC)!

In late spring, MQC launched 47 new healthcare training programs aimed specifically at the Mainers who lost their jobs early in the pandemic. Demand was very high for the training, which prepared people for work as certified nursing assistants, pharmacy technicians and patient service representatives, among other healthcare jobs.

As the hospitality and tourism industries struggled to reopen over the summer, MQC partnered with HospitalityMaine to offer COVID readiness training so workers in those industries could earn badges in four areas: restaurant readiness, lodging readiness, stress management and de-escalation.

Maine's community colleges also worked closely with the Mills administration to train and send out "Keep Maine Healthy" ambassadors, who kept the state's summer visitors informed about COVID health protocols, offering masks and information to people in the Old Orchard Beach area.
Graduating high school seniors enjoyed class gift of free college courses

We're big believers in the idea that learning never ends. That's why Maine's community colleges offered graduates of Maine's high school class of 2020 a gift of free, online summer courses. The MCCS Gift to the Class of 2020 was a way to acknowledge that the graduating class had an unexpected end to their high school careers and were likely facing an uncertain summer as well. The Class Gift was an opportunity for them to keep exploring their interests, earn college credit, and keep them moving toward their college and career goals. More than 530 high school students took us up on the offer, taking 680 classes this summer in English, math, sciences, languages, psychology, history, digital photography, creative writing, and more. Bravo!
EMCC launches new innovative program to support teachers

This fall, the impact of COVID has put the state's Prek-12 system under pressure, and Maine's community colleges are stepping in to help.

In partnership with the Maine Department of Education, EMCC launched a new, free, education training program to allow trainees to work as supervised support staff in Prek-12 classrooms this year.

These "learning facilitators" will help teachers where they need it most  ---   as an extra set of hands in classrooms where there are fewer students, but additional responsibilities for keeping students safe and in line with COVID safety measures. The new program also launches trainees on a path to pursue further education training.

"We are thrilled with the innovation and responsive programming being offered by our colleagues at EMCC," said Commissioner of Education Pender Makin. "The Learning Facilitator program will not only help our schools in providing for safe in-person instruction, but will help provide high quality workforce training with upward potential for Maine workers."
Caps and gowns go virtual in Zoomtastic graduation ceremonies

College officials found ways to keep the "pomp and circumstance" while incorporating new ways to celebrate their graduates.

"Coronavirus has brought the entire world to its knees, but it did not keep you from this virtual stage," MCCS President David Daigler told the graduates of NMCC. "You've learned the important power of persistence.

College officials mailed out caps and gowns to graduates, gathered pictures and messages from supporters, held Zoom webinars and recorded messages to celebrate the graduates who wrapped up their academic careers in highly unusual circumstances. You can see some of the ceremonies here: EMCC, KVCC, NMCC, SMCC, WCCC, YCCC.
Students of the Year honored

All our graduates have achieved something great. Among the graduates are some shining stars, who are chosen as Students of the Year. Like many of this year's graduates, most of plan to enter the workforce or continue their education. Meet a few of them.

Marcel Chalou moved back to Maine to raise his children and enrolled at NMCC to change careers. He completed his degree in water treatment technology at NMCC and landed a full-time position as a water treatment operator and lab technician at Presque Isle Utilities District.

Kate McPherson enrolled in CMCC's general studies program to explore her career options before changing majors to computer technology. Her goal is to combine her interest in psychology and skills in computer technology to help bring mental healthcare to those who can't leave their homes. When she graduates from CMCC she plans to continue her education in technology.

Clinton Dakin graduated from WCCC's powersports equipment/small engine technician and heavy equipment maintenance certificate programs and earned his associate degree in mechanical technology. This spring he earned an engine specialist certificate and is currently studying welding.
Congrats to first graduates of regional nursing program in Dover-Foxcroft

A big part of our mission as Maine's job training partner is offering the right training in the right place ---  so students can graduate and step right into good-paying jobs in their home communities. That's even more important in the healthcare fields.

That makes it all the sweeter to offer a rousing "Congratulations!" to the first graduates of EMCC's regional nursing program in Dover-Foxcroft. Students were able to remain in their community by taking EMCC nursing courses at Penquis Higher Education Center (PHEC) in Dover-Foxcroft and their clinicals at Mayo Regional Hospital. The need  ---    and the training  ---    continues, so for information on the Dover-Foxcroft and Ellsworth Regional Nursing programs contact Pilar Burmeister.
Michael Fischer appointed President of YCCC

A belated welcome to Michael Fischer, an associate vice president at Great Bay Community College in New Hampshire, who was named the president of YCCC by the MCCS Board of Trustees earlier this year. His first days on the job were amid COVID-related shutdowns, and it's barely let up since.

President Fischer said he credits his own academic path as the inspiration behind his passion for working with students in higher education. He was the first in his extended family to go to college and the second to graduate from high school. He recently completed his Doctorate of Education in Transformative Leadership from the University of New England, even as he was putting those skills to work at YCCC.

"The educational profession is one of the greatest and noblest callings because we have the ability to changes lives and shape communities. I look forward to working with the dedicated faculty and staff at YCCC in helping our students learn the skills needed to be successful in work and life," said Fischer.
That's the Maine spirit!

Back in June NMCC reported that Rodney Folsom of Greenville flew his family's Skyhawk II plane into Presque Isle, rode his bicycle to campus to take his Maine Real Estate exam, and departed for home the same day. Although many of the state's testing centers had been unavailable due to COVID-19, NMCC was able to offer a limited service.
Harold Alfond grants help Mainers prepare for new jobs
For the second year, a generous grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation will provide funding for free training for jobs in industrial electrical repair, facility maintenance, phlebotomy, heavy equipment operations and software development.

Learn more about what training programs are planned for 2020-21.

These programs also set up graduates for more education - graduates are eligible for scholarships to take up to two free courses at any Maine community college.
Meet two of our HAF training graduates! Kaitlyn, who pursued medical assisting, and Chantell, who pursued welding.

Kaitlyn Allard
Kaitlyn Allard
MCCS: New Skills - Chantell
Chantell Marie

News Briefs

Popular NMCC water treatment tech program expands to SMCC
SMCC and NMCC have partnered to offer NMCC's water treatment technology program to SMCC's students this fall. Through a combination of hands-on and online learning, the program provides training for future water treatment technicians in Maine. Learn more»

WCCC approved for Second Chance Pell program
WCCC has joined join a select group of colleges to administer the Second Chance Pell Program to provide access to postsecondary education to individuals in state and federal prisons. WCCC President Susan Mingo said offering a distance education degree program that will provide a pathway to in-demand careers upon release will be life changing for families. Learn more»

Generous donation covers NMCC nursing program testing fees
Second year nursing students at NMCC will receive up to $800 for nursing program testing fees paid during the 2020-2021 academic year thanks to the generosity of NMCC Foundation donor Mary Smith. In making the $32,000 donation, Mary Smith shared that she wanted to support these students as they transition into their profession and alleviate some of the financial constraints they may encounter along the way. Learn more»

SMCC scholarship honors immigrant community leader
SMCC has established a scholarship in honor of the late Alain J. Nahimana, co-founder and Executive Director of The Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center. "Alain was a good friend of SMCC, always challenging the college to do more and supporting our efforts to better serve our students who are immigrants. We will miss him," SMCC President Joe Cassidy. The scholarship will support SMCC students who are also immigrants. Learn more»
A smart start
Mackenzie Ferreira is enrolled in KVCC's early childhood development program and says, "I feel like I am actually going somewhere in real life. It feels amazing. Learn more» 
Maine Community College System
207-629-4000 | info@mccs.me.edu | www.mccs.me.edu
323 State Street |Augusta, ME 04330

Like us on Facebook