AUGUSTA – The University of Maine System launched a new website Monday to help students transfer to the system’s seven universities.

The website is part of a larger initiative, pushed by the Legislature, to create a seamless credit transfer system between UMS and the Maine Community College System. Critics say transferring credits has been difficult because it’s unclear what classes would qualify for transfer.

The website – http://www.maine.edu/transfer-students/ – allows would-be students to enter courses taken at other colleges and see what they equal at each UMS campus, then see how those credits satisfy course requirements in different UMS majors.

There are different tools for high school students, veterans, students at two-year or four-year institutions, and adults who have some previous college credit.

“It is imperative that we make the transfer process as seamless as possible so that we may better serve the sons and daughters of Maine families,” Gregory G. Johnson, vice chairman of the UMS board of trustees, said in a statement.

About 230,000 Mainers have taken some college courses but never got a degree. State and education officials have pushed an effort to help them finish their coursework, including programs that give adults “life credit” for their experiences.

UMS officials say an increasing number of students are transfers, a likely outcome of the recession, which prompted many students to pursue lower-cost options such as community college.

The system is seeing an increasing number of transfer students — a jump of 14 percent from 2,169 students in fall 2011 to 2,474 students in fall 2012, the most recent data available.

Of those, transfer students coming from the Maine Community College System went up 20 percent, from 697 students in the fall of 2011 to 836 students in the fall of 2012.

 

Noel K. Gallagher can be contacted at 791-6387 or at:

ngallagher@pressherald.com