In the last few years Mainers have come to realize the importance of adult education. Either out of need (such as job loss) or simply looking for enrichment classes, Mainers have been turning to adult education in record numbers. Enrollment is up 30% over two years ago. Participation in employment and training courses has doubled and the Maine College Transitions program has seen an even greater increase.
Realizing the lack of a single resource for Mainers to learn about the various adult education options that are available, Maine Adult Education launched a new Web site, The goal is to provide better information for potential adult learners and to create a resource for educators and the business community.

The Web portal is actually a network of adult education sites. On prospective students can search the entire statewide catalog of adult education courses. Individuals looking for a course simply types in a town or zip code and how far they want to travel and, in a flash, they have a list of offerings. With another click, course details are presented, along with a Google map showing the location of the course.

To see what courses are available in their hometown, prospective students have relied on newspaper ads or direct mail. Information on classes in neighboring communities could be difficult to come by. The Web site allows for easier access to information and to market class offerings geographically. Director of Lewiston Adult Education Eva Giles says the portal has helped them reach beyond the city limits. “We now have one place where we can direct learners from all over Androscoggin County so they can find classes and programs that fit into their schedules and meet their needs.  The portal has been a wonderful addition to our marketing efforts.”

One of the great advantages of the site is that all school districts, regardless of size, can have a presence on this site; they don’t necessarily have to have infrastructure at the local level to have their own Web site. In fact, five of the 10 most active program Web sites are from less populated areas in Maine.

At MSAD #52 (Greene, Leeds, Turner) the Web site has been a great resource. As a reminder, they have the Web address on their printed materials as well as magnets. The district has been taking online registrations since February; for the summer class offerings, 40 people chose to register on line.

The site is not just a place for class listings, important notices, reminders and announcements are also prominent. The Web site is just a first step in a major initiative to get the word out through social networking sites; from, you’ll be able to connect to FaceBook, view photos and videos of adult education events and connect with supporters and advocates.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.