September 18, 2018

UMaine System trustees approve UMPI ag program, hear from nursing students

University of Maine System trustees on Monday signed off on an undergraduate agriculture and agribusiness program at the University of Maine at Presque Isle and reviewed plans to expand nursing education in northern Maine.

UMPI's newly approved program modifies and expands its sustainable agriculture concentration within the environmental science program.

The goal is to educate students and working professionals in current agricultural practices and support the development and adoption of research-based approaches to improving operations in collaborations with regional agribusinesses and institutions.

To complement instruction in theory and lab settings, a teaching and research greenhouse is to be built on the UMPI campus. The program will collaborate closely with industry partners, the University of Maine and others to meet workforce needs.

"We are highly interested in advancing farm practices and agricultural jobs in Aroostook County," said Noah Winslow of Irving Farms Marketing in Caribou. He added that UMPI's new degree program "is a strategic next step forward to the partnership between our local university and Maine's food and fiber industries."

Trustees briefed on possible solution to nursing shortage

Separately in Monday's meeting, trustees were briefed on a new Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at UMPI, through a partnership with the University of Maine at Fort Kent — part of a strategic response to the statewide nursing shortage.

The board heard from two UMPI nursing students who would have not been able to attend nursing programs in other regions. Monica Scoville, a mother of three young children who is returning to the workforce with plans to get a nursing degree and become a midwife, said that if UMPI did not start a program she would not be pursuing a degree.

"The timing is perfect and I am very grateful," she said, adding that she has already done her first job shadow with Cary Medical Center.

And Alysha Decker, who lives in Mars Hill and graduated from high school last spring, told of how she helps provide care at home for her disabled father and works nights at the Caribou Veterans Home. She plans to work in nursing in Aroostook County after getting her degree.

A Cary Medical Center representative also spoke before trustees, saying that 70% of the Caribou institution's 172 registered nurses got their nursing education in Aroostook County.


Type your comment here:

Today's Poll Does your company or employer help employees in planning for their retirement security?<>
Most Popular on Facebook