Maine adults who want to return to college may qualify for as much as $4,000 per year in scholarships for up to four years, in a new Adult Degree Completion Scholarship Fund announced by the University of Maine System.
The system’s fund aims to help Maine people complete their academic studies — many adults started their university education years ago, but did not complete a degree program for some reason, likely due to family or work obligations.
The new scholarships are for adult students returning to a system university after an absence of three years or more, and who are completing their very first baccalaureate degree. Courses may be taken at any of the seven universities in Maine.
“Maine has over 200,000 adults with some college, but no degree,” explained UMS Chancellor James Page. “That is a significant stranded cost — both in terms of monies invested and opportunities lost. Our goal is to work with these folks to help them achieve their educational goals and move Maine forward.”
The funding for the program comes from a portion of gaming revenue made possible by citizen initiatives that authorized gambling in Bangor and Oxford and a one-time appropriation from the Maine Legislature last year.
Those adults returning to a university will be in good company. At the University of Maine System, adult students age 25 or older currently represent more than 36 percent of all students enrolled in degree programs and more than 60 percent of those attending part-time.
Currently there are few scholarships or other forms of financial aid available in Maine for adults, especially those who work full-time.
“One of the many challenges adults face as they return to college is financing their education,” noted Rosa Redonnett, UMS chief student affairs officer. “Since our goal is degree completion, we’ve set up a tiered scholarship program so Mainers who have previously earned a significant number of credits are incentivized to quickly complete their degrees. And we are also providing smaller scholarships for those who have completed a handful of courses toward a degree, but want to finish that work.”
In addition, a new concierge service has been established to guide students to assist adult students, in the same way that the hospitality industry has concierges to help guide guests to explore a new area. The university concierges, based in 15 Maine communities, will help adult students achieve their educational goals through activities such as applying to a university, choosing a major, finding financial assistance and registering for courses.
“Unlike traditional age students, most adults are also balancing work, family and other commitments,” said Bonnie Newsom of Eddington, a member of the UMS Board of Trustees who also serves on the Adult Baccalaureate Completion Distance Education (ABCDE) committee. “As a result, financial help and the assistance of a concierge may mean the difference between finishing that degree — or not.” Newsom added that the scholarship fund and concierge service are part of a larger, statewide adult degree completion effort under way at the system.
The ABCDE committee was created as a result of a Board of Trustees directive in 2012 to develop and implement a system-wide plan to enhance baccalaureate degree attainment and completion by Maine’s adult and noncampus based citizens. Efforts under way will incorporate consideration of the multiple pathways that students may follow such as certificates, associate degrees and prior learning assessment.
There are three opportunities for students to apply for the scholarships: May 8, Aug. 1 and Dec. 1. Applications can be found here. Applicants must meet the following criteria in order to qualify for the scholarship:
Must be a matriculated student at a UMS institution seeking a first baccalaureate degree.
Must be a resident of the state of Maine.
Must be an undergraduate reentry student who has experienced a gap (three years or more) in the pursuit of postsecondary education. Students who returned to higher education beginning in fall 2013 or more recently will be considered.
Must demonstrate financial need as determined by a completed FAFSA and/or statement outlining ability to pay/financial resources available for education.
Must be registered at least part time: 6‐8 credits per semester (fall and spring) or 9–12 credits total for the two semesters.
More than 100 area high school students will convene at the University of Maine on Friday, April 11 to celebrate World Languages Day with traditional dance lessons and a campuswide scavenger hunt.
Students from Foxcroft Academy as well as Bangor, John Bapst Memorial, Hermon and Orono high schools will attend. School teams will compete in a culture bowl to answer questions about geography, holidays, famous people, history and current events related to their language studies. The two languages highlighted will be French and Spanish. World Languages Day, scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., will also include opening and closing ceremonies and lunch in Memorial Union. Judges will be selected from UMaine faculty, staff and advanced students.
UMaine students, many from the Modern Languages and Classics Department, will teach crafts and guide students around campus. In addition, master folk dancer Cindy Larock will teach traditional French-Canadian dancing.
Danielle Beaupre and Maria Sandweiss, lecturers in French and Spanish, respectively, planned the event. The last World Languages Day was in 2009; it has been revived in 2014 thanks to sponsorship from the Department of Modern Languages and Classics, The Canadian-American Center and the Foreign Language Association of Maine (FLAME).
The University of Maine has opened registration for its three girls’ basketball summer camps. The Black Bears will offer an Elite Camp for girls entering grades 9–12 from June 21 to 22, Youth Overnight Camp for grades 3–9 from July 14 to 17, and Youth Day Camp for grades 3–9 from July 28 to Aug. 1.
Elite Camp focuses on advanced skill development, as well as speed and agility workouts, while offering commuter and overnight options. Youth Overnight Camp offers instruction from UMaine players and coaches, as well as the opportunity to play games, learn fundamentals, participate in drills and have fun at all levels of experience. Day Camp includes focused skill work and games.
Participants of each of the three camps will receive a T-shirt. Roommate requests for overnight camping can be made until two weeks before the beginning of the selected camp.
More information about UMaine’s girls’ summer camp sessions, such as how to register and pricing, is online.
The University of Maine School of Performing Arts celebrates the musical vision of composer, jazz trumpeter and Maine educator Don Stratton during a two-part concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 11, at Minsky Recital Hall.
The concert, titled “Pythagoreanism and the Music of Don Stratton,” will feature Stratton’s multifaceted music. A jam session and refreshments will follow.
The first piece is “Ktaadn, The Highest Land,” directed by Dan Barrett. Rich Tozier of the Maine Public Broadcasting Network will narrate passages from Henry David Thoreau’s “The Maine Woods.” Tozier will be accompanied by a brass ensemble, woodwind trio and singers. The second set will showcase some of Stratton’s jazz compositions.
Tickets are $9, or free with a student MaineCard. For tickets or disability accommodations, call the Collins Center for the Arts, 207.581.1755.
The University of Maine Foster Center for Student Innovation will offer a workshop Friday, April 11, for businesses and community members to learn a systematic approach to innovation. The workshop will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the UMaine Hutchinson Center in Belfast.
Participants will learn about the Innovation Engineering (IE) system, which includes tools and methods for creating, communicating and commercializing meaningfully unique ideas. IE addresses the biggest threats to innovations at the beginning of the process, thereby speeding up innovation while decreasing risk.
This is a Blackstone Accelerates Growth-sponsored event. Blackstone Accelerates Growth (BxG) is developing innovation hubs in various regions of the state. Entrepreneurs leading startup and existing companies become part of a network to learn from each other and to cost-effectively access entrepreneurial support resources. The workshop costs $149 for business and community members. Lunch is included. Full scholarships are available for growth-oriented, for-profit companies. To learn more and to register, visit the Foster Center’s website.
The works of Vincent Hartgen, founder of the University of Maine Museum of Art and longtime UMaine professor of art, will be on display at Boyd Place Gallery, 21 Boyd St., Bangor. The show, “Maine Masters,” features works of Hartgen and Arthur Thompson. The exhibit is open daily, 9 a.m.–7 p.m., through May 31. A reception is slated for 3–5 p.m. Sunday, April 27.
The University of Maine School of Performing Arts presents its Chamber Music concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 8, in Minsky Recital Hall.
Noreen Silver, music professor and cellist in Silver Duo, has put together a program of chamber works performed by student ensembles. Faculty members Phillip Silver, Eric Thomas and Liz Downing have provided coaching for the two- to eight-member groups.
The concert opens with W.A. Mozart’s “Trio in E flat K. 498,” performed by Benjamin McNaboe (clarinet), Olivia Bean (viola) and Abigail Gower (piano). Later, cellist Noreen Silver joins students Perla Fernandez, Gabrielle Price and Norah Bird for Antonin Dvořák’s “String Quartet Op. 96,” also known as the “American” Quartet. A sensuous arrangement of Maurice Ravel’s “Pavane for a Dead Princess” will be presented, as will the seldom-heard “Romance” by Sergei Rachmaninov. The University of Maine flute ensemble will complete the program with “Prelude and Rondo,” by Anne McGinty.
Admission is $9, or free with a student MaineCard. For tickets, call 207.581.4721. For disability accommodations, call 207.581.1755.
The University of Maine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation is hosting the Big Gig finale from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 8. Finalists from the last three Big Gig pitch-off events will compete for a $1,000 grand prize sponsored by University Credit Union.
The winner will be chosen by audience vote. Admission is free, but online registration is requested. Food and a cash bar will be available.
Finalists are John and Christine Carney of Thick & Thin Designs; Bruce and Kathy Chamberlain of Stone Fox Farm Creamery; and Jessica Jewell of Northern Maine Distilling Co.
The Big Gig is a series of business pitch events for entrepreneurs in Greater Bangor designed to bring together Bangor-Orono area innovators and entrepreneurs and offer networking opportunities. It was started by a partnership between UMaine, Old Town, Orono and Husson University and is supported by Blackstone Accelerates Growth. More information about Big Gig is online.
More than 300 students, teachers and chaperones from about 20 Maine middle and high schools are expected to gather at the University of Maine from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 12 to participate in the Maine National History Day competition.
A new partnership between UMaine and the Margaret Chase Smith Library, with support from the Maine Humanities Council and the Maine Historical Society, brings the event for students in grades 6–12 to the UMaine campus for the first time since the national program began in 1980.
National History Day (NHD) is an academic program that promotes critical thinking, research and presentation skills through project-based learning for students of all abilities. More than a half million students, working with thousand of teachers, participate in the national contest annually.
Student exhibits, websites, documentaries and performances will be judged from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at several locations on campus including Wells Conference Center, IMRC Center, Fogler Library and Memorial Union.
Travel prizes donated by Joe and Suzanne Cyr of John T. Cyr & Sons, Inc./Cyr Bus Line in Old Town will be awarded to state winners who are eligible to compete in the national contest in Washington, D.C. in June. Awards will be presented during the 2:30 p.m. ceremony in Wells Conference Center.
A scavenger hunt with activities from a half dozen museums and history organizations, including a Civil War re-enactment group, will be offered to students. Maine NHD participants can also use UMaine’s New Balance Student Recreation Center at a discounted rate of $3.
State NHD contestants are invited to display their work at the Bangor Public Library and the Maine Discovery Museum in downtown Bangor for five weeks after the contest. Performance category winners also are invited to perform at the Bangor Public Library on May 17 during Bangor Public Humanities Day organized by the UMaine Humanities Initiative. More information about the Bangor event is online.
For questions or to request a disability accommodation, contact John Taylor, NHD state coordinator with the Margaret Chase Smith Library, 317.626.8438, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Liam Riordan, UMaine history professor, 207.581.1913, email@example.com. More information on Maine NHD is online.
University of Maine Student Life LGBT Liaison Services announces that a stand-up comedian, concert and documentary will be part of Pride Week, scheduled for April 7-12 on campus.
Pride Week begins at noon Monday, April 7, with a flag raising on the Mall. It concludes at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 12 in North Pod with a drag show featuring Ivy Winters, a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5.
Alison Grillo, “New York City’s Woman Trapped Inside A Woman’s Body,” will perform a stand-up comedy routine at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 8, in DP Corbett Room 100; Magdalen & Greane will be in concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, in North Pod; a NOH8 Photo Shoot to promote marriage equality will be held 12-4 p.m. Thursday, April 10, in the Rainbow Resource Center in Memorial Union; and “God Loves Uganda,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, will be screened at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 10, in DP Corbett Room 100.
A complete schedule is online. To request disability accommodations, call Chelsea Barker, 207.581.1439.