Consider a Maine community college

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A Maine community college: Your first choice

An increasing number of would-be college students are selecting their local community college as their first choice on their list of college options. According to the American Association of Community Colleges, these institutions “educate more than half the nation’s undergraduates.”

Why do students choose community colleges? Traditionally, and in Maine in particular, present-day community colleges began as technical training institutes. Students still flock to community colleges for technical training in automotives, computers, and electronics, among other technical fields. Associate degree programs in business, early childhood education and nursing are other popular career offerings. Students and employers alike realize the value of these post-secondary training options.

However, a new breed of students now considers the community college as a viable choice to begin post-secondary studies. With the advent of Associate in Arts programs, university-bound students now have another option; to begin their college career at a community college, and then transfer to a baccalaureate degree program for upper-division studies. This allows many students the convenience of attending a school closer to home, while saving significant money on housing and tuition costs. On average, annual tuition at a community college is less than half the cost of attending a four-year public college or university (public institutions at in-state tuition rates). In fact, Maine’s community colleges have the lowest tuition rate in the state.

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Students earning 60 credits in Associate in Arts programs bring significant transfer credits to Bachelor Degree programs, decreasing the amount of time spent at upper-division institutions. Many community colleges and universities join forces in streamlining the transfer process for students through articulation agreements. These agreements define courses at the community colleges that transfer into baccalaureate degree programs. The AdvantageU program is one such partnership between the Maine Community College System and the University of Maine System.

AdvantageU enables Liberal Studies graduates of Maine Community Colleges the ability to transfer into the University of Maine System in a streamlined admissions process. Early advising, a simplified application process and no application fee are some of the highlights of this program. Find out more about the AdvantageU program by visiting the Web site at www.advantageu.me.edu.

So . . . thinking about college? Consider a Maine Community College as your first choice. You’ll be in good company!

FMI, contact Elizabeth M. Oken, Central Maine Community College, by phone 755-5239 or e-mail eoken@cmcc.edu

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