Steps for Success

Counselors, Parents/guardians are encouraged to help students, but the students should be leading their Early College experience. Otherwise, students will not realize the full benefits of the program, which include gaining skills in self-advocacy and learning how to navigate the college process.

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  1. Meet with your school counselor to discuss Early College options and determine if you are ready for college classes.
  2. Explore career pathway options and consider which course would be the best fit. Select courses that fit your interests using the Credits with Purpose brochure (PDF).
  3. Before your class starts, you will be prompted to create 2 different accounts:
    • Explore EC account: allows you to apply for and navigate all the courses the University of Maine system has to offer. It will include course search options, course descriptions, prerequisites ( requirements you must meet in order to take the course), credit information, and start/end dates.
    • UMS User Account (University of Maine System account): Your UMS User account connects you with the University system and initiates activation in MaineStreet, which is the platform we use for all UMS announcements and other required links such as email, campus textbooks, BrightSpace (online learning platform) and other college course information. Your UMS User account (via MaineStreet) is the primary way we will communicate with you while you are taking a college class at all of our University of Maine institutions (Augusta, Farmington, Fort Kent, Machias, Orono, Presque Isle, or Southern Maine).
  4. Create an account, search, and apply for a course in ExplorEC
    • The information you type into ExplorEC will be used to create your official university transcript, be sure to enter everything correctly.
    • School counselor and parent must approve the course in ExplorEC
    • EC Administrators registers student in MaineStreet
  5. Check your email daily. You will receive registration confirmation with UMS ID and activation code (for new students) at the email address you used to create your ExplorEC account.
  6. Activate your UMS User Account (External Site).  This must be done right away because codes expire! After activation, you can forward your university mail (External Site)  to another address.
  7. Log into your account (External Site). From here, you can access MaineStreet to your current classes.
  8. Order your textbook. Each campus has a bookstore, but you can also use Amazon or other online sites. Sign in to your MyCampus Portal (External Site), under UMS Quick Links select My Textbooks – Current Semester.
  9. logo for brightspace by D2LAccess BrightSpace (External Site). BrightSpace, found in your MyCampus Portal (External Site) (large orange B symbol), is the way in which online college classes are taught. Alternatively, you can get to our BrightSpace at (External Site). Either way, use your username and password to log in.This will include your syllabus, where you post assignments, receive notices from professors, etc. It is very important to have a solid understanding of BrightSpace before you begin your class. Please see below for some BrightSpace resources. BrightSpace is now used by all of Maine’s Public Universities and Community Colleges. Your professor will not send you an email. You must log into your UMS account portal and click on BrightSpace.
  10. Learn the basics of BrightSpace by watching these short videos (External Site), or use text based documentation (External Site). UMPI’s Center for Teaching and Learning has developed a BrightSpace Course for learners (External Site). Complete the course by watching videos and completing some practice activities to earn a digital BrightSpace badge!

Technical Support: If you have technical difficulties, or trouble logging in, submitting quizzes or assignments and or viewing course content, please reach out to our UMS:IT Support team at