Press Herald Quotes Provost Hecker, Mentions ‘Think 30’ in Article on College Debt

The University of Maine’s “Think 30″ program was mentioned in a Portland Press Herald article on college debt in Maine and around the country. Schools, including UMaine, have adopted new programs and policies aimed at helping students get through their college years more efficiently — keeping costs down without wasting time and tuition money — and helping them stay in school, according to the article. Currently, about 79 percent of freshmen return the following year at UMaine, and the target retention rate is 85 percent, said Jeffrey Hecker, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. “It’s the right thing to do and it will also help us with our budgetary challenges,” he said. The Think 30 program launching this fall aims to encourage students to take at least 30 credit hours every year, Hecker said. To graduate on time, students should take 15 credit hours per semester. Currently, more than a third of UMaine students end their freshman year with fewer than 30 credits, the article states. The Press Herald also published a related article on UMaine wildlife ecology major Caroline MacKenzie, who is juggling work and school.