FARMINGTON — The Summer Experience Program at the University of Maine at Farmington will be conducted in two- and three-day sessions Sunday to Tuesday, July 17-19.

The program will focus on providing students with engaging field experience opportunities that can jump start their career aspirations, while helping them feel at home on campus.

“UMF’s Summer Experience program really speaks to the highly personal education students receive from our dedicated faculty and staff at UMF,” said Interim President Joseph McDonnell, according to a news release from the Farmington campus. “The experience helps students identify their career goals, form friendships and achieve academically.”

Students arrive at UMF to check into their residence halls, have lunch and get acquainted with fellow students and the campus. Upper classmen serve as live-in student mentors who can answer any questions, help students feel comfortable with the campus and local community, lead residence hall activities and provide knowledgeable guidance on the field experience learning opportunities.

The next day, students divide into small groups and have the option to participate in one of the learn-by-doing opportunities that are taught by expert UMF faculty in the fields of Geography & Environmental Policy, Community Health, Biology, Music and Political Science.

“This program helps students feel at ease as they start their college experience. As a long-time faculty member, I have seen the difference a little head start makes for these young adults. They get to know the campus, meet new people, share their ideas in an academic setting and really find themselves,” said Jeffrey Thomson, UMF professor of creative writing.


Hands-on academic experiences have students in a local forest using environmental field methods to measure carbon sequestration; learning how horsemanship can provide invaluable lessons on resilience and rehabilitation services; evaluating the benefits of a local stream restoration project; composing a short, collaborative work of sound art; and investigating the different approaches sustainable tourism can take by exploring the Maine Huts & Trails camp on Flagstaff Lake.

“These active, experiential sessions help students get excited about what they can learn and how they can personally interact with faculty,” said Lisa Ellrich, assistant vice president for enrollment and director of admission. “They get to know their advisors and learn that our faculty at Farmington are very approachable problem solvers and here to help students invest in themselves.”

This also is a time for students to establish themselves on campus. In addition to getting to know each other and making friends they can also meet with their advisor, fine tune their fall scheduling, finalize any housing decisions and secure a campus job.

“It’s been shown that students who participate in pre-college programs are better prepared for their college experience and more successful,” said Ellrich. “They are taking the time off from family and summer jobs to get ready for fall, and we are here to help them in every way.”

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