Thousands Heading Back to School With Early College

Still Time To Apply and join thousands of Maine high school
students making Early College a part of their back-to-school plans

Maine students and their families have one week left to explore and apply for Early College Courses at all seven campuses using ExploreEC Portal launched this year

UMaine, USM, and UMA Welcome Hundreds of High School Students to their campuses for Early College Orientations

Early College Career Exploration Programs Expanding To Three Campuses This Fall

Orono, Maine — Maine students and their families still have one week to explore and apply for Early College courses at all of Maine’s Public Universities using the ExploreEC Portal.  The portal is new for the fall semester and classes start September 3rd.

UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy welcomed students and their families to Orono today for an Early College Orientation and urged everyone to share the news that students throughout the state still have to apply now for fall Early College courses.

Apply Now with New ExploreEC Portal:  The University of Maine System launched the ExploreEC portal to allow high school students to explore and apply for Early College courses at all seven campuses with one streamlined application.  Students from 120 Maine high schools and homeschooled students have already used the ExploreEC portal to register for classes this fall and over 300 school counselors have received training and access to support students with the online application process.  Students still have a week to explore and apply at:

More than 3,500 Maine high school students earned low and no-cost college credit last year participating in the University’s Early College programming.  The 21,570 credit hours earned by these high school students equates to a $5.6 million tuition savings for their families.

Growth and State Investment:  Early College headcount for the upcoming fall semester is up 23.4% from last year. Investments from the Maine Legislature are making it possible to strengthen coordination and support for local Maine schools and to expand access for students.  The State’s elected leaders provided $3 million in targeted state support for Early College initiatives in the last biennium and recently approved a $2 million investment for FY 20 and 21.

“Maine high school students still have a week to make Early College a part of their back to school plans,” said Dan Malloy, Chancellor of the University of Maine System.  “Early college courses are a low-cost, no-debt opportunity for students to earn credits and build college confidence. Our programs also strengthen local school curriculums and ties to public university programs that lead to Maine careers.”

“With the support of Governor Mills and the Legislature our Early College progress is putting Maine on the forefront of efforts nationally to advance college aspirations and readiness, attainment, affordability, and opportunity.”

Hundreds Participate in Campus Early College Orientations:  The University of Maine, the University of Maine at Augusta and the University of Southern Maine closed out the summer hosting Early College Orientations on campus for high school students and their parents.  More than 300 students and parents participated in the day-long orientation at UMaine today where they learned about the program’s commitment to quality teaching and maintaining college-level rigor as well as the access and support provided to under-resourced communities and first generation students.

President Ferrini-Mundy welcomed hundreds of students and parents to UMaine’s orientation and an Early College Program that expanded Academe-e course offering by 111% last year and now offers more than 55 online early college classes.

UMaine offered over 200 early college courses last year delivered online, on campus, or at a high school. UMaine’s regional campus, the University of Maine at Machias, is also expanding and innovating, creating 8 new Early College Certificates in career exploration.

“Early College is new, more, and it’s now,” said President Ferrini-Mundy. “This year we created a STEM environmental research course, a state-wide online Precalculus program, outdoor and summer leadership programs, and more than doubled our offerings in our online Academe-e programs.  At our Machias campus we are offering students new chances to explore Maine careers with campus-based and online programs.

“We are pleased to welcome our new Early College students and their parents to UMaine.  With classes starting in a week we urge high school students to apply now and join the thousands of Maine high school students who will be getting an early and affordable start on college this year.”

Morgan Suderley is a first-year student entering the University of Maine this fall with a double major in Zoology and Studio Art.  She is also the recipient of an Early College scholarship.

Morgan has multiple conditions, including autism, that make it hard for her to acclimate to social groups and she has had to learn how to cope in a high school class and talk in a group.  She credits UMaine’s Early College program and its advisors at the Hutchinson Center with more than just the 9 credits that are already on her college transcript.

“Early College was a necessary component for my adjustment to college life,” said first-year UMaine student Morgan Suderley.  “It often helped to support me with things other people think are easy. The UMaine Early College advisors helped me by listening to my concerns and problems and they helped me find answers. Early college helped me realize that college was a possibility for me and one that I could reach.”

Photo Link:  Morgan Suderley, UMaine Class of 2023, and her parents Earn $3,000 in Free College Credits with Early College Career Exploration Certificates:  High school students can now explore and begin preparing for careers with immediate opportunities in the Maine workforce.  The Early College Career Exploration Certificates guide high school students as they learn about majors and career options.  Upon completion, students earn a designation on their university transcript. The college credits they earn can save their families approximately $3,000 in tuition costs.

Visit Early College Pathways to learn more about the Early College Career Exploration Certificates being offered at these institutions:

Visit UMA’s website
Rachael Magill, Dir. Early College Programs
(207) 621-3163 or
High school students can jump start their college education with UMA’s Pathways and Certificate programs, earning a valuable credential while still in high school:

  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Pathway Program
  • Dental Assisting, Pathway Program
  • CIS / Cyber, Certificate (available online)

Visit UMFK’s website
Scott Voisine, Dean of Community Education
(207) 834-8644 or
UMFK works with 103 different Maine high schools and offers Rural U Workforce Early College Career Exploration Certificates in the following areas:

  • Behavioral Science and Human Services Careers (available online)
  • Business Careers (available online)
  • Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Careers (available online)
  • Environmental and Biological Careers (available online)
  • Forestry Careers
  • Nursing and Healthcare Careers (available online)

Visit UMM’s website
Christy Alley, Early College Coordinator
(207) 255-1268 or
UMM was the first institution to offer Early College Career Exploration opportunities.  Four high school graduates earned a certificate as part of their high school graduation this spring, UMM offers Early College Certificates in:

  • Becoming a Business Professional (available online)
  • Becoming a Recreation Professional (available online)
  • Becoming a Teacher (available online)
  • Career Exploration (available online)
  • Exploring Psychology (available online)
  • Introduction to College Studies (available online)
  • Introduction to Health Professions
  • Introduction to STEM

More:   Hyperlink to ExploreEC graphic and the UMS Early College website.
Distributed 8/27/19