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April Mulherin
Associate Director of Media Relations
Office: (207) 778-7081
Cell: (207) 491-0064
TDD: (207) 778-7000
april.mulherin@maine.edu

Office of Media Relations

UMF Experts List

 

UMF Leads the Way in Removing Barriers for All Applicants with Elimination of Application Fee

FARMINGTON, ME (December 17, 2014)—In an effort to help make access to four-year colleges more affordable, the University of Maine at Farmington has announced that it is eliminating the $40 application fee all prospective students are charged when applying to the Farmington University.

RP145-028“We want to make sure that students interested in applying to UMF and benefitting from the UMF Experience have every opportunity to do so, without barriers,” said Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president. “Reducing costs for students and their families demonstrates UMF’s continuing historic mission to preserve affordable access to higher education for all students.”

UMF’s new free application policy creates a level-playing field for every applicant regardless of need or manner in which they apply. Farmington is the only college in the University of Maine System that currently offers free application for all applicants.

As determined by data based on IPEDS and information from the Common Application, approximately 490 U.S. colleges have application fees of $50 or greater, 239 of which are public institutions. While many colleges waive the application fee for students applying online or with special circumstances or financial need, applicants still pay between $10 and $75 per school when submitting a traditional application, according to U.S. News.

“Students who are motivated to continue their education have a lot of pressures and expenses,” said Eileen Reading, UMF associate director of admission. “By eliminating the application fee, we’re saying to them, ‘You’ve done all the hard work you needed to in order to prepare yourself for the next steps in your education. Don’t worry about this additional expense; just concentrate on finding the best college for you.’”

The new policy is in effect as of January 1, 2015, and also applies retroactively to any first-year, transfer or international students who applied for admission to UMF for the 2015 spring and fall semesters. Any student who paid to apply for enrollment for these semesters will be contacted by the UMF Admission Office regarding next steps in the reimbursement process. To apply to UMF, visit www.umf.maine.edu.

More on University of Maine at Farmington

A nationally-recognized public liberal arts college, UMF enjoys a 150-year tradition of providing a quality academic experience combined with the personal attention and close student / faculty collaboration that help prepare all students to be successful. Rooted in a tradition of teacher preparation, UMF offers top quality programs in the arts and sciences, teacher preparation, and business and pre-professional studies. UMF is located in the heart of Maine’s four-season outdoor recreational region and is a welcoming, close-knit academic community that prepares students for engaged citizenship, enriching professional careers and an enduring love of learning.

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Media Contacts:

Eileen Reading, UMF associate director of admission, 207-778-7052, or eileen.reading@maine.edu

Lisa Ellrich, UMF associate director of admission, 207-778-7054, or ellrich@maine.edu

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2014/12/RP145-028.jpg

Photo Credit: UMF photo

UMF Partnership for Civic Advancement Receives Davis Educational Foundation Grant

FARMINGTON, ME (December 11, 2014)—The University of Maine at Farmington’s Partnership for Civic Advancement has been selected to receive a grant totaling $108,910 over the next two years from the Davis Educational Foundation, which was established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after Mr. Davis’s retirement as chairman of Shaw’s Supermarkets, Inc.

In making this award, the Trustees of the Davis Educational Foundation expressed their support for the project’s objectives of ‘increasing student engagement with faculty and campus and community-based experiential learning.’ The grant will provide funding to expand the capacity of the university’s Partnership for Civic Advancement in order to help students make the connection between liberal arts education and rewarding and successful careers, graduate education, and civic leadership, as outlined in UMF’s strategic plan.

The Partnership’s internship program, which was launched in the summer of 2012, has grown by more than 300 percent over the past three years.  Two additional components of the Partnership program, volunteerism and leadership education and training, have been initiated during the past year.

In the relatively brief time that the Partnership has been active, “it has made a significant difference to individual students, community organizations and to the fabric of UMF,” noted Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president.  “We are deeply grateful to the Davis Educational Foundation for their recognition of the importance and success of the Partnership’s work.”

“This significant award from the Davis Educational Foundation will provide the support needed to integrate experiential learning effectively throughout the educational program at UMF,” said Celeste Branham, UMF Vice president for student and community services and director of the Partnership for Civic Advancement.  The grant will provide funding for community outreach, faculty development, and curricular and project/program development.

The Partnership for Civic Advancement was designed to provide the foundational structure through which the University can effectively cultivate and sustain strong university-community relationships, and, through those relationships, develop and support a wide variety of opportunities for student engagement in meaningful community-based experiential learning activities.

When fully implemented, it will provide the full range of experiential learning and student-community engagement formats, including:  internships, volunteerism, undergraduate research, service learning and leadership education and training.

All Partnership activities are designed in collaboration with the western Maine community to address community needs and economic and community development priorities, and with students and faculty to achieve specific learning objectives of the students.

More on University of Maine at Farmington

A nationally-recognized public liberal arts college, UMF enjoys a 150-year tradition of providing a quality academic experience combined with the personal attention and close student / faculty collaboration that help prepare all students to be successful. Rooted in a tradition of teacher preparation, UMF offers top quality programs in the arts and sciences, teacher preparation, and business and pre-professional studies. UMF is located in the heart of Maine’s four-season outdoor recreational region and is a welcoming, close-knit academic community that prepares students for engaged citizenship, enriching professional careers and an enduring love of learning.

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 Media Contact: F. Celeste Branham, UMF vice president for student and community services, 207-778-7087, or cbranham@maine.edu

UMF President Foster Appoints Jeffrey McKay as New Director of Facilities Management

FARMINGTON, ME (December 9, 2014)—Kathryn A. Foster, University of Maine at Farmington president, recently announced Jeffrey McKay as the new director of facilities management for UMF.

RP145-026In his new position at UMF, McKay is responsible for the University’s overall facilities operation and its interface with the campus and the general public. Working with faculty, staff, students and multiple constituencies on and off campus, he will ensure a high-quality, sustainable physical plant and oversee all facilities personnel, strategic and financial planning, construction management, grounds maintenance, housekeeping and utilities operations.

A leader in the higher education facilities management field, McKay comes to UMF from the University of Southern Maine. He served with their facilities services for the past eight years, most recently as assistant director for maintenance and operations.  Prior to that, he operated a successful residential and commercial landscaping business in southern Maine and worked in a high-level supervisory position with the Maine State Parks.

“We feel very fortunate to have Jeff at the helm of UMF’s campus facilities,” said Foster. “His professional knowledge, practical experience and leadership skills will help shape our campus as we continue to strive to provide our students with the most effective and environmentally sustainable educational setting.”

Throughout his career, McKay has provided oversight and leadership in construction management, operations and maintenance, grounds and custodial operations and other related services. He has held or currently holds licenses or certificates in arboriculture, boiler operations, composting, American Institute of Architects contract documents and the American Plant Association Institute for Facilities Management. He is also a board member of the Northern New England chapter of the American Physical Plant Association.

“College facilities today are more than just buildings; they surround students with a learning environment that impacts the way they think about the world,” said McKay. “I am excited to be a part of UMF’s vision for its campus, and look forward to working with a great team.”

McKay received a B.S. in environmental studies from the University of Maine at Machias.

He has recently completed a graduate certificate in community planning and development and has been accepted in a Massachusetts Maritime Academy program where he will be earning a master’s degree in facilities management.

More on University of Maine at Farmington

A nationally-recognized public liberal arts college, UMF enjoys a 150-year tradition of providing a quality academic experience combined with the personal attention and close student / faculty collaboration that help prepare all students to be successful. Rooted in a tradition of teacher preparation, UMF offers top quality programs in the arts and sciences, teacher preparation, and business and pre-professional studies. UMF is located in the heart of Maine’s four-season outdoor recreational region and is a welcoming, close-knit academic community that prepares students for engaged citizenship, enriching professional careers and an enduring love of learning.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2014/12/RP145-026.jpg

Photo Credit: UMF photo

UMF Commits to Generation Study Abroad Initiative with Launch of New, Two-Day Travel Program

Lac-Megantic Presentation news

UMF students and faculty present tokens of friendship from Lac-Megantic Public Library to Maurie Stockford, director of Farmington Public Library (far left.)

Eight UMF students recently traveled to Lac-Megantic , Quebec, along with several faculty members, to launch “Global Perspectives,” UMF’s new, two-day travel program. The pilot excursion is part of a larger goal to double the number of its students studying abroad according to UMF’s recent pledge to the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative. Students toured the Quebec town to understand the devastation of the 2013 railway accident and the current recovery efforts, according to the Sun Journal.  They returned with tokens of friendship from the Lac-Megantic library and presented them to the director of the Farmington Public Library.

Sun Journal
Portland Press Herald
Morning Sentinel

UMF Joins the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad Initiative

FARMINGTON, ME (December 2, 2014)—The University of Maine at Farmington is proud to announce that it has recently joined the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to help more Americans gain international experience through study abroad programs. UMF is the only Maine institution included in the IIE’s coalition of 450 partners.

Launched earlier this year, Generation Study Abroad seeks to significantly increase study abroad participation by bringing employers, governments, associations and others together to build on current best practices. It also seeks to find new ways to extend study abroad opportunities and resources to tens of thousands of college students whose needs are not currently served by existing programs.

In keeping with the IIE Generation Study Abroad goal of doubling the number of U.S. students studying abroad by the end of the decade, UMF is pledging to double the number of its students studying abroad by 2020 with a projected goal of having 10 percent of its student body participate in some type of international educational experience by that year.

“Studying abroad helps students learn new skills, develop new strengths and apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to the real world,” said Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president. “The experience plays a critical role in a student’s education and enhances their self-confidence and independence—skills that can really set them apart in today’s job market.”

To help increase student interest in studying abroad, UMF is developing a number of new initiatives, including, “Global Perspectives,” a new, two-day excursion program designed to make international education more accessible to fit student’s busy schedules and limited budgets.

Travel to Quebec, other parts of Atlantic Canada and global cities in the U.S. will be prime destinations that will help students see the benefits of longer-term studying abroad experiences.

The pilot excursion of the program featured a recent trip to Lac-Mégantic, a long-time, sister city of Farmington and the site of a devastating 2013 railway disaster. While there, students spoke with several public official and civic leaders working to rebuild the city. They also toured the damaged city and visited the public library that was destroyed and recently rebuilt.

New ways of disseminating information on the value of international experiences and engaging study abroad alumni to advocate for their importance and relevance will also be pursued by UMF. Additional funding for student scholarships is in the planning stage.

UMF currently offers semester-long formal exchange programs in France, England, Argentina, China and throughout the U.S. and Canada through the National Student Exchange program. UMF also offers travel courses during Winter and May Terms.

Generation Study Abroad partners to date include 298 colleges and universities of all sizes and types across the country and around the world, as well as 13 governments, 16 education associations, 67 international partners, and 56 study abroad, K-12, and social network organizations who have committed to specific goals to increase the number of U.S. students studying abroad.

More on University of Maine at Farmington

A nationally-recognized public liberal arts college, UMF enjoys a 150-year tradition of providing a quality academic experience combined with the personal attention and close student / faculty collaboration that help prepare all students to be successful. Rooted in a tradition of teacher preparation, UMF offers top quality programs in the arts and sciences, teacher preparation, and business and pre-professional studies. UMF is located in the heart of Maine’s four-season outdoor recreational region and is a welcoming, close-knit academic community that prepares students for engaged citizenship, enriching professional careers and an enduring love of learning.

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Media Contact: Linda Beck, UMF professor of political science and director of International and Global Studies Program, at linda.beck@maine.edu, or 207-778-7341

UMF Community Chorus and Orchestra Present Winter Concert, Dec. 7

FARMINGTON, ME (December 1, 2014)—On Sunday afternoon, Dec. 7, the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the University of Maine at Farmington Community Chorus and Orchestra present a concert that is both a memorial and an expression of hope.

Under the baton of the chorus’s director, Bruce McInnes, with accompaniment by Patricia Hayden, the concert begins with Mendelssohn’s sacred cantata, “Hear My Prayer.”  The cantata opens with words from Psalm 55 where the soloist asks for guidance in a world of woe.  Suddenly, “The enemy shouteth,” and it seems all is lost.  But then, the cry “Lord, hear me call!” leads to one of Mendelssohn’s most beautiful musical offerings that transports us to another world, “O for the wings of a dove!  Far away would I rove!”

Next on the program is one of most beloved works of choral music, Fauré’s Requiem, the Mass for the Dead, which serves as a magnificent tribute to those who lost their lives at Pearl Harbor.  With an orchestration that focuses on the lower strings—violas, cellos and bass—the Requiem has an especially somber and velvety tone, but is enlivened with the rich and striking harmonies that are so characteristic of Fauré, not to mention the harp that appears in several movements.  The last movement “In Paradisum” offers a gentle hope that those lost have found their way to Paradise.

The final work on the program is Beethoven’s “Choral Fantasy,” conducted by Philip Carlsen and featuring Steven Pane in the demanding and brilliant solo piano part.  As in his Ninth Symphony, Beethoven in this work employs a text that expresses a hopeful ideal of the fraternity of mankind, concluding with the words, “Once one’s being has taken flight, a choir of spirits resounds in response.  Accept then, you beautiful souls, when love and strength are united, Divine grace is bestowed upon Man.”

The event is sponsored by the UMF Division of Sound, Performance and Visual Inquiry.

The concert begins at 3 p.m., in UMF’s Nordica Auditorium.  Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and free for children and UMF students.  For further information, contact Philip Carlsen at carlsen@maine.edu.

More on University of Maine at Farmington

A nationally-recognized public liberal arts college, UMF enjoys a 150-year tradition of providing a quality academic experience combined with the personal attention and close student / faculty collaboration that help prepare all students to be successful. Rooted in a tradition of teacher preparation, UMF offers top quality programs in the arts and sciences, teacher preparation, and business and pre-professional studies. UMF is located in the heart of Maine’s four-season outdoor recreational region and is a welcoming, close-knit academic community that prepares students for engaged citizenship, enriching professional careers and an enduring love of learning.

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UMF Personnel Recognized with Second Annual Distinguished Staff Awards

FARMINGTON, ME (November 24, 2014)—The University of Maine at Farmington recently celebrated the skill and commitment of its outstanding staff with its second annual Distinguished Staff Award ceremony. This recognition program was created to highlight the dedicated and excellent service that UMF staff members provide every day as they work with students and their families, campus colleagues and members of the public.

The eight staff members selected to be honored this year have served a total of more than 220 years at UMF. This year’s recipients include: Shari Witham – administrative staff of the year, Dwight Cram – facilities public safety staff of the year, Tim Hupp – professional staff of the year, Katie Fournier – outstanding new employee, Chris Deon – above and beyond, Elizabeth Jennings – unsung hero and Claire Nelson and Becky Young – lifetime achievement.

RP145-023

UMF personnel receiving 2014 Distinguished Staff Awards include: (left to right) Shari Witham, Tim Hupp, Chris Deon, Dwight Cram, Claire Nelson, Katie Fournier, Elizabeth Jennings and Becky Young.

“It is our honor to recognize these truly exceptional colleagues and members of the UMF campus family,” said Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president. “Their incredible years of service mirror what takes place in every corner of UMF every day. Talented, skilled and hardworking staff are committed to helping our students with every facet of their educational experience.”

Earlier this fall, nearly 40 staff members were nominated for the seven award categories by co-workers, faculty and administrators. The nominees were reviewed by a selection committee of 12 staff and faculty members from across campus and narrowed down to the eight finalists.

According to Niki Haggan, UMF technology support specialist and chair of the selection committee, the best part of the nominee review process is getting to know all the nominees. “It’s so gratifying to get to know our colleagues better and to understand that though only a handful can be recognized with this award, there are so many deserving individuals. It makes you proud to be part of a place like UMF that makes such a difference in student’s lives.”

More on University of Maine at Farmington

A nationally-recognized public liberal arts college, UMF enjoys a 150-year tradition of providing a quality academic experience combined with the personal attention and close student / faculty collaboration that help prepare all students to be successful. Rooted in a tradition of teacher preparation, UMF offers top quality programs in the arts and sciences, teacher preparation, and business and pre-professional studies. UMF is located in the heart of Maine’s four-season outdoor recreational region and is a welcoming, close-knit academic community that prepares students for engaged citizenship, enriching professional careers and an enduring love of learning.

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Media Contact: Niki Haggan, UMF technology support specialist, at niki.haggan@maine.edu or 207-778-7335

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2014/11/RP145-023.jpg

Photo Credit: UMF photo

Photo Caption:  UMF personnel receiving 2014 Distinguished Staff Awards include: (left to right) Shari Witham, Tim Hupp, Chris Deon, Dwight Cram, Claire Nelson, Katie Fournier, Elizabeth Jennings and Becky Young.

UMF Partnership for Civic Advancement Launches First Annual Student Leadership Summit

FARMINGTON, ME (November 19, 2014)—University of Maine at Farmington Partnership for Civic Advancement recently launched its Leadership Training and Education program with its first annual Student Leadership Summit. Seventeen students holding leadership roles on the UMF campus participated in the two-day event.

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2014 UMF Leadership Summit student participants include: (left to right) back row: Jeremy Vroom, Nathaniel Libby and Zachary Faulkner. Middle row: Conrad Ward, Sebastien Dumont, Connor Sabia, Kyle Manning, Nicholas Bucci and Tannar Francis. Front row: Louise Villemont, Katherine Beach, Holly Legere, Kimberly Biddlecom, Madeline Boyes, Darrian Church, Jamie Austin and Rachel Schoenberg.

A panel of community and state leaders, including, Richard Davis, Farmington town manager; Becky Davis-Allen, vice president at Bangor Savings Bank; Peter Taylor, vice president for program development and grant making services at the Maine Community Foundation and Janet Mills, Maine attorney general, presented a discussion on the characteristics of effective leadership.

Taylor shared his thoughts with the student participants, noting that, “leadership is mobilizing people and resources to make change.” According to Mills, factors such as background and education are not determinants of leadership, “We know leadership by action and action when it counts,” said Mills.

The two-day summit also featured a variety of activities and sessions to increase participants’ self-awareness and understanding of their leadership potential, encourage them to become acquainted with one another and build trust, and learn about the styles and characteristics of leadership, as well as tools of leadership such as time management and conflict resolution.

Session presenters included:  Elyse Pratt-Ronco, assistant director of the UMF Upward Bound Program; Celeste Branham, UMF vice president for student and community services and director of the Partnership for Civic Advancement; Peter Osborne, UMF career counselor and employment specialist and Natasha Lekes, UMF assistant professor of psychology.

The goal of UMF’s Partnership for Civic Advancement is to engage students in meaningful community-based activities. When fully implemented, the Partnership will develop and support all forms of civic engagement/experiential learning activities, including:  internships, volunteerism, undergraduate research, service learning and leadership education and training.

All Partnership activities are designed in collaboration with the western Maine community to address community needs and economic and community development priorities, and with students and faculty to achieve specific learning objectives of the students.

Additional events will be held for the 2014 Leadership Summit participants in November and December.

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 Media Contact: Celeste Branham, UMF vice president for student and community services and director, at cbranham@maine.edu or 207-778-7087

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2014/11/RP145-022.jpg

Photo Credit: UMF photo

Photo Caption:

2014 UMF Leadership Summit student participants include: (left to right) back row: Jeremy Vroom, Nathaniel Libby and Zachary Faulkner. Middle row: Conrad Ward, Sebastien Dumont, Connor Sabia, Kyle Manning, Nicholas Bucci and Tannar Francis. Front row: Louise Villemont, Katherine Beach, Holly Legere, Kimberly Biddlecom, Madeline Boyes, Darrian Church, Jamie Austin and Rachel Schoenberg.

UMF Holds “New Directions in Farmington’s Energy Future” Forum, Nov. 19

FARMINGTON, ME (November 13, 2014)—The University of Maine at Farmington is holding a public forum on “New Directions in Farmington’s Energy Future” from 6:30-8 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 19, room 101 in the UMF Roberts Learning Center. This event is free and open to the public.

This event is the second in a series of campus-community forums to target ways in which UMF and the community can reduce their reliance on #2 heating oil and explore more cost effective and environmentally-friendly energy sources.

The forum is an open format designed to include a wide range of voices, including UMF students, faculty and staff, town officials, local educators, local elected representatives and members of the community.

Recent developments highlight the timeliness and value of this open discussion. These include, Summit Natural Gas’ announcement that it will not be able to deliver natural gas to the campus, the approval by the University of Maine System board of trustees of the construction of a UMF central heating plant and the growing use of wood biomass as a heating source throughout area schools, businesses and homes.

All members of the UMF campus and local communities are encouraged to attend. This event is sponsored by the UMF Sustainable Campus Coalition (SCC). For more information, contact Luke Kellett, UMF sustainability coordinator at luke.kellett@maine.edu or 207-778-7096.

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UMF Announces Five-Year Master’s Program in Partnership with USM

FARMINGTON, ME (November 10, 2014)—The University of Maine at Farmington is proud to announce Counseling 3+2 (B.S. to M.S.C.)—a valuable, new academic partnership with the University of Southern Maine that speaks to the national shortage of counselors by allowing students to achieve both their bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation service and master’s degree in counseling in five years, rather than the typical six.

“We are very excited about this creative partnership with USM,” said Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president.  This innovative program showcases the collaborative spirit between our two campuses and how together we can help our students achieve their professional goals.”

Developed over two years by Jewel Jones, UMF associate professor of rehabilitation services, and Charles Bernacchio, USM associate professor of counselor education in rehabilitation counseling, the program is unique in New England.  It provides students interested in a master’s degree in counseling with the opportunity to graduate a year ahead of time, making it possible for them to enter the work force early, while acquiring less debt.

Graduates of the five-year program can qualify for both state licensing for counseling and national certification for rehabilitation counseling, making them highly employable in many settings, including at alcohol and drug treatment facilities, counseling agencies, correctional facilities, independent living programs, mental health centers and more.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer this streamlined approach to becoming a professional counselor to our students,” said Jones. “There’s a shortage of counselors throughout the country and this program will help students be successful in this growing professional field.”

Available beginning in fall 2015, Counseling 3+2 (B.S. to M.S.C.) is nationally recognized at the highest level of academic standards with accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP) and the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE).

Students enrolled in the program will complete their first three years at UMF—earning their Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Service. During their time at UMF, students will take a wide range of applied human service courses in the rehabilitation field.

Three field experiences and a full time 450-hour summer internship in a variety of settings will help students gain valuable hands-on experience and explore working with the populations they are most interested in serving. Upon completion of their bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation service, UMF graduates may apply for the Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician Community certification, allowing them to work within the mental health field in Maine.

A streamlined graduate application process will pave the way for them to gain early acceptance to the USM graduate program. Once enrolled at USM, students will complete much of their master’s coursework online while continuing to gain valuable hands-on experience in their practicum and internship under the supervision of faculty experts and experienced agency professionals. These real-world experiences will help students gain advanced skills and develop counseling competency.

“The students in this unique track have the chance to accelerate their education and complete both degrees in less time with a significant cost reduction. It will also include streamlining graduate admission requirements that helps them access graduate studies smoothly without interruption,” said Bernacchio.

All students will be required to take the National Counselor Exam (NCE) and the international Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) examinations in order to acquire state counseling licensure and national CRC certification.

For more information, please visit the website at: http://www.umf.maine.edu/counseling3plus2/ .

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Media Contact: Jewel Jones, UMF associate professor of rehabilitation services, at jewel.jones@maine.edu or 207-778-7267