Early Start Maine Earns National Recognition for Infant and Early Childhood Intervention

Early Start Maine, a program funded by federal grants for special education administered through the Maine Department of Education, has received the national 2018 Exemplary Program Award for Infant and Early Childhood Intervention services by the American Council on Rural Special Education, the national organization devoted entirely to special education in rural America.

Early Start Maine is housed at the University of Maine and works throughout the state to support young children with autism and their families. In collaboration with Child Development Services (CDS), Early Start Maine provides training, professional development, and technical assistance to early intervention service providers working with toddlers with autism. The program’s comprehensive early intervention system has positively affected services provided to children with autism and their families.

This national award is granted annually for programs that demonstrate exemplary programs providing service to rural communities, involving the community, and having a significant impact on rural special education.

For more information about this award, see https://umaine.edu/autisminstitute/2018/02/20/maier-early-start-maine-program-receives-national-recognition/

Reminder regarding student participation in post-secondary enrollment programs

Maine high school students are afforded the opportunity to participate in post-secondary programs under 20-A MRSA, Chapter 208-A.  This statute details student eligibility requirements and proscribes the level of student participation as 6 credit hours per semester, not to exceed 12 credit hours per academic year.

As the second semester began, the Department received invoices from post-secondary institutions for students who had already met the 12 credit hours per academic year threshold. This notice is a reminder of the reasons that limiting the credit hours can be beneficial to students:

  • Completing a high number of college courses while in high school can affect a student’s enrollment status in the first year of college with unintended consequences to federal financial aid, campus housing, academic standing, and scholarship eligibility. Career and technical programs, in a often have tight, sequential requirements in each semester: completing part of a semester of requirements can impact enrollment status (for example there are not enough remaining courses for a student to take to be full-time).
  • Course requirements can differ from program to program and there is no guarantee that a course will transfer to the student’s college of choice. Therefore, a secondary student participating in the post-secondary enrollment program should receive guidance in the selection of post-secondary enrollment courses, giving consideration to the student’s intended program of study/career pathway. Students should choose intentionally and with the combined guidance of school counselors and advisors at the colleges and/or universities.
  • Funds to support students enrolled in this program are limited by legislative appropriation and credit hour limits have been established in an effort to afford participate for as many students as possible within the limits of the appropriation.

As a reminder to Superintendents, Principals and Guidance Counselors, the responsibility to monitor student participation in post-secondary enrollment programs lies with the school administrative unit. Please be sure to verify student credit hours each semester, prior to approving a student to enroll in post-secondary courses.

Should you have questions or need clarification, please contact Stephanie Clark, Fiscal Review and Compliance Consultant for the Maine Department of Education at stephanie.clark@maine.gov

Maine Mathematics Coaching Project: Grant funded tuition support for cohort 4 applicants

The Maine Mathematics Coaching Project at the University of Maine at Farmington is offering a special opportunity to new math coaching candidates who apply and are accepted to Cohort 4 by March 15, 2018.

These students will receive $2500 of their first year membership paid for through the DOE Mathematics Science Partnership Grant.

In order to qualify for these one-time, limited funds, interested parties must complete the Maine Mathematics Coaching Project assurances and application by March 15th. Applications and assurances received after March 15, 2018 will be responsible for the full $6000 first year membership.

For more information please contact Sandra MacArthur at sandra.macarthur@maine.edu


Secretary of State hosting ‘Voter Reg Rumble’ competition to encourage youth registration

This general election season, Maine’s Secretary of State is hosting a voter registration competition encouraging students to get involved in the electoral process.

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Updated College Scorecard available online for researching higher education institutions

The U.S. Department of Education recently released its first annual update of the redesigned College Scorecard — available at CollegeScorecard.ed.gov — to ensure that students and families have the most up-to-date, comprehensive, and reliable information available on colleges, all in an easy-to-understand format. The site allows visitors to sort and filter their search results to easily compare schools and decide which college makes the most sense when considering the typical costs, average student loan amount, students’ ability to repay their loans, and their future earnings.

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