*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.

  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.
  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.  This must be done right away because codes expire! After activation, you can forward your university mail to another address.
  7. Log into your account. 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, under UMS Quick Links select My Textbooks – Current Semester.
  9. logo for brightspace by D2LAccess Brightspace. Brightspace, found in your MyCampus Portal (large orange B symbol), is the way in which online college classes are taught. Complete the Early College Orientation in Brightspace to better prepare you for success in your course. Alternatively, you can get to our Brightspace at https://courses.maine.edu. Either way, use your @maine.edu 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, or use text based documentation. UMPI’s Center for Teaching and Learning has developed a Brightspace Course for learners. 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 help@maine.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Do not create a new account. This will delay processing your application.
  • Your email address is usually your personal email or high school address (not your university email). If you forgot which email you used contact the EC Administrator at the campus you last took classes with.
  • Try different email addresses, and then click “forgot password” to figure out which email address is in our system and reset your password.
  • ExplorEC is a web-based application designed to process and manage Early College applications in collaboration with high school counselors. Applying in ExplorEC does not automatically enroll you in courses.
  • MaineStreet is the official tool that allows University of Maine System students to access and manage resources such as academic records and financial information.
  • Early College Administrators review and approve applications in ExplorEC and then use this information to register students in MaineStreet.

The UMS portal provides access to MaineStreet so students can view their academic records. It also provides access to your University email account, the Brightspace Learning Environment, textbook information, and other resources.

Depending on how you got to Brightspace, you will see either the University of Maine System landing page, or the University of Southern Maine landing page. In either case, there are two ways to find your courses.

The My Courses Widget – This widget displays a tile for each of your courses. Click a course’s tile to enter that course.

  1. The filter tabs allow you to filter the tiles shown by semester and other categories
  2. Each course you have access to has a course tile. screenshot of Brightspace. Block on the left hand side reads "my courses" and has a tag pointing to it reading "My Course Widget." Just under that is scrollable bar with a tag pointing to it labeled "1" corresponding to text above. Under that is the courses, with a tag pointing to it labeled "2" corresponding to text above.

The “Waffle” Button

The other way to get to courses you have access to is the Waffle button. The advantage to the Waffle button is that it is located at the top of every page in Brightspace, and thus can be accessed at any time. Clicking it makes a listing of all the courses you can access to appear. If you have access to a lot of courses, you can filter the ones listed using the search field.

screenshot of Brightspace. At the top of the screen from left to right is a "home" icon, University of Southern Maine icon, text "USM Student", icon of nine boxes with a tag pointing to it labeled "The Waffle Button", mail icon, messages icon, and bell icon.

(Example University of Souther Maine Student)

If you do not see a course you are registered for in Bright Space, please do not worry.  All courses will arrive in your Brightspace listing by the start of classes on Monday, August 31st. If you have any questions about when a particular course will be available to you, please reach out directly to the Contact the Early College Administrator at the campus you are enrolled in.

Brightspace is designed to work with mobile devices, so a separate app is not necessary for mobile users. Brightspace on the web is mobile-friendly. Students looking to enhance their learning experience will be interested in Brightspace Pulse. Brightspace Pulse is a mobile app that can help learners stay connected and on track with their courses in Brightspace Learning Environment. It provides one easy view of course calendars, readings, assignments, evaluations, grades, and announcement items.

Brightspace Pulse is available for download from any global Google Play™ store or Apple App Store®.

  • Talk to your counselor immediately and if you agree you need to drop your class, log into ExplorEC and click Drop/WD requests.
  • You will not be automatically dropped from a course if you stop attending.
  • If you stop attending without letting us know, you will be given a grade which is equivalent to an F. Your University transcript is a permanent record.
  • Telling your instructor is not an official withdrawal.
  • It is important to familiarize yourself with the MaineStreet calendar icons that will provide you with specific deadline dates..