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July 27, 2018

New UMA agreement shares more resources with eight communities

Courtesy / University of Maine at Augusta
Courtesy / University of Maine at Augusta
University of Maine at Augusta President Rebecca Wyke announced a new administrative agreement that makes higher education more accessible to Mainers statewide.

A new administrative agreement allows the University of Maine at Augusta to oversee eight newly branded UMA centers in Rockland, Brunswick, Ellsworth, East Millinocket, Houlton, Rumford, Saco and South Paris.

The PenBay Pilot reported the agreement allows the centers, which have existed for years, to share more of the University of Maine System's resources.

"We have more a culture of sharing resources," Brenda McAleer, dean of College at UMaine Augusta, told the newspaper. Rockland Center Director Deb Meehan said that with the new designation, course availability and academic supports for students will expand.

The agreement came after a re-visioning process led by UMA President Rebecca Wyke over the 2017-18 academic year, according to a University of Maine at Augusta news release. The goal is to make higher education more accessible to Mainers statewide.

Formerly known as University College Centers, the eight facilities were rebranded as UMA Centers. The majority of the students at the UMA Centers are UMA students, taking part in distance education or onsite classes. This renewed relationship will expand course availability and academic supports for UMA students across the state.

"This provides us with a tremendous opportunity to support students and faculty, increase the number of courses offered onsite at the regional centers, and expand academic support for distance and online students throughout Maine," Wyke said in the release.

The third largest university in the University of Maine System, UMA serves nearly 6,000 students at campuses in Augusta and Bangor and its eight UMA Centers, along with 32 interactive television course sites.

In its latest ranking of the country's best online bachelor's degree programs, U.S. News & World Report puts UMA in the top 100. The magazine gives an enrollment figure of 3,268 in UMA's online program, and puts the cost at $285 per credit for out-of-state. In a statement issued in February, Wyke said the school's ranking "is due to the extraordinary efforts of our faculty and staff providing quality online programs and support for our students."

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