Early College Online: UMF Course Gives Mt. Blue Senior the Chance to Research and Share Family History

Early College student Sylvie Haslam, a senior at Mt Blue High School recently published the first part of a three part story on University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) Professor and Author Luann Yetter’s website as part of an Early College course she took this past summer at UMF.

“Sylvie was just one of many high school students, statewide, really, who took advantage of the opportunity to take classes last summer, when the pandemic hit and UMF moved their summer classes online,” said Clarissa Thompson, Early College Campus Coordinator and Associate Professor of Secondary and Middle Education at UMF.

Early college courses are available to Maine high school students at University of Maine System Schools and Maine’s Community Colleges as well through Maine’s Aspirations Program, which is administered by the Maine Department of Education. Students may now apply for early college opportunities at all of Maine’s colleges and universities using one common application portal, this new tool is a significant usability upgrade for students and families navigating early college options in Maine.

The UMF course that Sylvie took is called, Local Stories/Your Stories. Along with classmates from across Maine, she dove into her own local town and family history as material for creative nonfiction, engaging in personal interviews, genealogies, and looking through old newspapers (among other things) to create a vivid story of her personal history.

“This is a great example of the types of expanded opportunities our high school students have as part of the Aspirations program,” said Amy Hubbard, Executive Director of Early College at University of Maine System.

As an introduction to Sylvie’s story, Professor Yetter writes:

Last summer when I taught my class on writing local and family history I got to read some wonderful work. One of the projects I know will be of interest to my readers is this one by Mt. Blue High School senior Sylvie Haslam. Sylvie’s family history in Weld is interwoven with the Cushman family, prominent in the 1800s, and with artist Seavern Hilton who made his mark in the mid twentieth century. Join us as Sylvie explores Weld history, family history and the folk art that traveled far beyond the village of Weld. I have divided her fascinating account into three parts. In Part I, below, we are introduced to the Michael Graham farm and the Cushman family, whose ties to the land go back to the mid-eighteen hundreds. I’m sure you will agree that Sylvie is a talented writer. This high school student has a great future ahead of her!”

Read Part One of Sylvie’s story here: The Shop Land, Part I

UMF and the other University of Maine System campuses, as well as Maine’s Community College System campuses offer a wide range of classes that Maine high school students have continued to participate in online.

“Students have really jumped at the opportunity to take them,” adds Thompson. While participation had been growing steadily before the pandemic, early college programming helped provide additional options for students as high schools adjusted to online and hybrid schedules. Students who participate in early college are more likely to attend college, have higher grades in college, and are more likely to graduate on time.

For more information about early college options at UMF specifically, contact Clarissa Thompson at clarissa.thompson@maine.edu.

Information for this article was provided by the University of Maine System and the University of Maine at Farmington as part of the Maine DOE Maine Schools Sharing Success Campaign. The Maine Schools Sharing Success Campaign is an avenue for Maine schools to celebrate successes and share innovative ideas, practices, and models that can be adapted and easily implemented by other Maine schools. Stories are not an endorsement of specific materials, services, or practices and are not intended to promote learning programs that are of cost to students, families, or schools. To submit a story or an idea, email it to Rachel at rachel.paling@maine.gov.

Maine Community College Students Named to All-Maine Academic Team

Twenty-one Maine community college students have been named to the All-Maine Academic Team in recognition of their outstanding academic achievement, leadership, and service.

They were honored last night in a virtual ceremony. For a recording of the presentation go to: https://youtu.be/91_Vk9STdH8

The students receiving the award and a $500 scholarship from the MCCS Board of Trustees, are:

  • Nicholas Bennett, Gray, Central Maine Community College in Auburn
  • Emma Gay, Winthrop, Central Maine Community College;
  • Coleen Heiser, Canton, Central Maine Community College;
  • Jeffrey Palmer, Tamworth, NH, Central Maine Community College;
  • Britney Eberhardt, Prospect, Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor;
  • Jennifer Hodgins, Brewer, Eastern Maine Community College;
  • Joy Sharrow, Bowerbank, Eastern Maine Community College;
  • Adrian Hoyt, Benton, Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield/Hinckley;
  • Felecia Paradis, Fairfield, Kennebec Valley Community College;
  • Natacha Valley, Winslow, Kennebec Valley Community College;
  • Kristin Wallaker, New Portland, Kennebec Valley Community College;
  • Valerie Bilogue Minkala, Presque Isle, Northern Maine Community College in Presque Isle;
  • Leeann Kaiser, Easton, Northern Maine Community College;
  • John McNally, Patten, Northern Maine Community College;
  • Savannah Green, South Portland, Southern Maine Community College in South Portland/Brunswick;
  • Cortney Luce, Poland, Southern Maine Community College;
  • Rachel Ackley, Cooper, Washington County Community College in Calais;
  • Donna Mutty, Calais,  Washington County Community College;
  • Jessica Stevens, East Machias,  Washington County Community College;
  • Dana Comeau,  Kennebunkport,  York County Community College in Wells and
  • Travis Richards, Moody, York County Community College.

In addition, Jennifer Hodgins (EMCC) and Kristin Wallaker (KVCC) have been named Maine New Century Scholars for earning the highest scores in the state on their All-USA Academic Team applications.

Hodgins has been named the 2021 Maine New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar and will receive a $2,250 scholarship.

Wallaker is the 2021 Maine New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar and will receive a $1,250 scholarship.

KVCC’s Adrian Hoyt was one of only 50 students nationwide name a Coca-Cola Academic Team Silver Scholar and will receive a $1,250 scholarship.

The New Century Pathway Scholarship program is sponsored by The Coca-Cola Foundation, The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, the American Association of Community Colleges, and Phi Theta Kappa. Only one New Century Transfer and Workforce Scholar is selected from each state.

The All-Maine Academic Team is a program of Phi Theta Kappa, an international honor society for two-year colleges. Students are nominated and selected for the team by their college.

Information for this article was provided by Maine Community College System as part of the Maine Schools Sharing Success Campaign. The Maine Schools Sharing Success Campaign is an avenue for Maine schools to celebrate successes and share innovative ideas, practices, and models that can be adapted and easily implemented by other Maine schools. Stories are not an endorsement of specific materials, services, or practices and are not intended to promote learning programs that are of cost to students, families, or schools. To submit a story or an idea, email it to Rachel at rachel.paling@maine.gov. 

Learning Facilitator Program- Great Resource for Schools, Free for Trainees!

In order to be responsive to critical staff shortages in Maine schools as a result of the pandemic, Governor Mills created additional flexibilities and opportunities for educators in Executive Order #7. Based on the Executive Order, the Maine Department of Education, in collaboration with Maine Community College System and Eastern Maine Community College, has developed the Learning Facilitator Program, a fast-track training program for paraprofessional level educators to expand, strengthen and support a high quality educator workforce.

The program, which is offered at no cost to the participants, is completed in two phases in one academic year with the ongoing support of Eastern Maine Community College faculty.

  • A week-long 3-credit course “boot camp” with foundational elements of classroom management and school culture. Additionally, the core boot camp curriculum includes training in COVID readiness, bloodborne pathogens, suicide awareness and prevention, mandated reporter training, and fingerprint clearance in order to address both substitute teacher and long-term support staff preparedness.
  • The second phase of the program consists of a combination of online work, professional learning community meetings, and a structured teaching apprenticeship (315 hours).

Upon completion of the 3-credit course “boot camp,” participants will have the foundational skills necessary to fill short- and long-term substitute educator roles, as well as all paraprofessional positions. They can support instruction and provide guidance to learners in the classroom under the supervision of a mentor teacher or teaching team. Mentor teachers or teaching teams may be working remotely or in-person. Special coding for Learning Facilitators has been created within NEO for schools, so that subsidy will not be impacted.

Educators who complete all elements of the Learning Facilitator Program, as outlined above, will qualify for an Educational Technician III certification.

For more information related to the program, please visit the EMMC website, here.

Applications Open for Yale Young Global Scholars Summer Program

The  Yale Young Global Scholars (YYGS) application is now open. Students in grades 10 or 11 (or international equivalent) from all around the world are encouraged to apply!

YYGS invites eligible students to join them this coming July to experience life as a university student at Yale while attending an academic session of their choosing.

Here’s what students and families need to know:

  • Meet peers from over 130 countries around the world (including all 50 U.S. states), and join discussions where students offer global perspectives.
  • YYGS provides over $3 million USD in need-based financial aid equally to both domestic and international students, offered as discounts covering up to 100% of tuition costs.
  • Apply by their Early Action deadline and hear your decision back by late December. If the fee poses a financial burden, submit a fee waiver to make your application fee $0 USD.

YYGS is excited to host on-campus sessions, however, they will notify students by March 5, 2021, if that is not possible. More details are listed on their COVID-19 update page.

Early Action Deadline: November 10, 2020 at 11:59pm ET
Regular Decision Deadline: January 12, 2021 at 11:59pm ET

Apply Today: https://globalscholars.yale.edu/how-to-apply
Webinar Series: https://globalscholars.yale.edu/how-apply/info-sessions*

*Register to attend the webinar series either live and/or to view recordings on your own time.

For more information or questions, please contact YYGS.

UMFK and Region Two School of Applied Technology Partnering to Provide Students with First Year of a Nursing Degree

Imagine being a high school student enrolled in the Health Sciences Program at the Region Two School of Applied Technology knowing you can graduate from high school with the first year of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree from the University of Maine at Fort Kent complete.  A new collaboration between the UMFK’s Nursing Program, Region Two School of Applied Technology in Houlton, and UMFK’s Rural U Early College and Concurrent Enrollment Program now makes that opportunity possible for these high school students.

The new program, called Rural U Nursing: Health Sciences Alliance Program brings together the strengths of the programs mentioned above and provides students the opportunity to earn 24 or more university credits, one full academic year of credits that serve as the first year of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing at UMFK.  Students completing the program can come into UMFK’s Nursing program as 2nd year students.  UMFK’s Nursing program is also available at the University of Maine at Presque Isle adding yet another option after high school for these students.

“We are so pleased to partner with Region Two to bring freshman level college courses to high school students who are interested in pursuing a nursing degree,” states Dr. Erin Soucy, UMFK’s Dean of Undergraduate Nursing.  Dave Keaton, Director of the Region II School of Applied Technology adds, “What a tremendous opportunity for our Intro to Medical Professions students and for the workforce in Aroostook County!”

Credits earned in this program will include articulated credit UMFK grants for Maine CNA Certification earned at Region Two, credits from a concurrent enrollment NUR 200 Introduction to Professional Nursing to be taught at Region Two by Health Sciences Instructor Amber Sloat, credits for Anatomy and Physiology I and II classes taught at the Houlton Higher Education Center, and early college and concurrent enrollment classes earned through UMFK’s Rural U program.  While this program provides an accelerated pathway to a nursing degree, students will not be charged tuition for any of these credits; thus also providing a more affordable pathway to a BSN degree. Scott Voisine, UMFK’s Dean of Community Education adds, “All early college programs like Rural U give students a chance to experience college learning and earn credits more affordably, but this new collaboration takes it one step further provides a direct onboarding of students into a rigorous and rewarding career pathway at UMFK.”

Rural U Nursing is a direct response to the need to increase the number of nurses in Aroostook County, in Maine, and in the Region.  Students will be able to begin the program immediately this fall.

This story was submitted by Dave Keaton, Director of the Region Two School of Applied Technology as part of the Maine Schools Sharing Success Campaign. To submit a story or idea, email it to Rachel at rachel.paling@maine.gov.