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Welcome to Onward Program

The University of Maine is ending the Onward Program after the 2014-15 academic year. For that reason, we are no longer accepting applications for admission to the program.

The University of Maine serves — and will continue to serve — thousands of nontraditional students through its comprehensive academic offerings.

For those students requiring developmental academic preparation to get them ready for college-level work, the University of Maine at Augusta, including its campus in Bangor, offers the preliminary coursework to meet their needs.

For information about other UMaine student support resources offered through College Success Programs, please contact Alan Parks at 581-2320 or Thank you.

The Onward Program, a member of the University’s College Success Programs, helps people obtain a four-year degree at the University of Maine. Onward students often lack the academic credentials required to be accepted to the University in the traditional manner, or may simply need extra help. Through our unique support system, we prepare these students for success in college and beyond. While there is no such thing as a “typical” Onward student, some of our students are:

  • single parents who want to be better providers for their children.
  • blue collar workers who have been laid off or who are looking for a better career.
  • people who did not complete high school due to family or personal reasons, but who have achieved their GED.
  • people who are the first in their family to attend college.
  • people with disabilities.

Students accepted into the Onward Program attend the University of Maine, and generally spend most of their first year taking courses to prepare them for college level classes. Upon completion of these classes, Onward students do not need to reapply to the University. They simply begin to take courses toward their intended degree.

More About Onward

You can learn more about the Onward Program at this link, including how to apply, how to pay for college, and what courses are offered. The Onward Program began in 1970 as a way to make the University of Maine more accessible to students who, for academic and economic reasons, might not otherwise attend college. Jerry Herlihy, our first director, recruited fifteen students and provided them with support services. In 1970 there were two staff members to serve fifteen students. Currently we admit approximately fifty students and support them with a director, assistant director, three counselors, three faculty members, two administrative assistants, and a computer specialist. Most students will complete the Onward Program and go on to successful careers in the University and beyond. We invite you to join that group of hard-working, determined students!

Class of Fall 2014 

Orientation Week information and Start-Up newsletters are available here for members of the incoming Class of 2014.

Onward Links