FirstClass Retirement Project – January 2017 Update

The project to retire FirstClass in May 2018 continues to progress. The project team has been collecting information from faculty, staff, and students about how they use FirstClass, and which features are most important to them. This information will help the team recommend FirstClass alternatives to users as they transition off FirstClass. Along with conducting focus groups and meeting with faculty, staff, and student representatives, a survey has been developed to help gather input about FirstClass usage. To participate in the survey, please go here.

What’s happening now?
The Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL), and the FirstClass project team are finalizing plans to support faculty, departments, and organizations to transition to alternative solutions for all active conferences. The options include Blackboard, Google Apps (Google Drive, Google Groups…), Listservs, UMaine Portal, and Boxa new cloud-based file storage solution. For information about FirstClass alternatives, a matrix that lists all FirstClass features and alternative solutions that provide similar features can be accessed here(NoteInitially, the end date for creating new conferences was May 2017. Based on input received from focus groups and UMaine faculty leadership, it was decided to move the end date to December 2017).

UMaine IT staff are developing support materials and processes to help people migrate email, contacts, and stored files from FirstClass to Google Apps or Box.

Additional Google Apps training sessions are scheduled for the spring semester. To register for a session go here.

What can I do now?
All UMaine faculty, staff, and students have an UMS Gmail account. If you are using FirstClass as your primary email account, you will want to start planning the transition to Gmail. If you have questions about how to get started please email

If you subscribe to listservs and use your FirstClass address for those lists, you will want to change your email address with the listserv provider. You will also want to make sure to change your email address with online services.

What’s next?
In the coming months, we will provide additional project updates and information about what support services are available to help with the transition.

Questions and comments can be sent to