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Updated: March 22, 2021

Maine community colleges to expand in-person learning this fall

Maine’s seven community colleges will offer expanded in-person learning this fall under a plan that may change with further health and vaccine-related guidance.

If pandemic-related restrictions ease, the goal is to offer a more traditional student experience this fall, with expanded classes, residential hall capacity, food service and other on-campus activities.

"We are eager for the students, faculty and staff to return to our colleges as much as possible,” Maine Community College System President David Daigler said in an announcement Friday. “Hopeful signs such as Maine’s clear vaccination rollout plan gives us confidence in planning expanded in-person instruction.”

During the last year, less than one-third of classes were offered in-person, residence halls at five campuses were limited to one person per bedroom, and campus facilities were mostly closed.

The presidents of Maine’s community colleges are releasing campus-specific information about fall plans. All seven colleges will continue to use daily COVID-19 screening apps to monitor the on-campus population and enforce health protocols.

“Expanding in-person learning is in the best interests of our students, our community, and in line with our pledge to prioritize the health and safety of our faculty, staff and students,” Daigler said. “Many students say they prefer taking classes on campus, and businesses are desperate for the graduates of our programs.”

The Maine Community College System serves more than 29,000 people each year through degree programs, customized training, and credit and noncredit offerings. In total, the colleges offer nearly 300 career and transfer programs of study, customized training for business and industry, and continuing education. 

“Maine’s community colleges are essential to preparing people with the skills they need for the jobs they want, and for Maine to build a strong, sustainable recovery,” Daigler said. “Throughout history, education has been the cornerstone for transforming our economy after every major disruption."

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