Re: ” ‘Access is the thing’: Online learning really clicks with students in Maine” (April 7, Page A1):

Thank you for shining a spotlight on the growing opportunities for Mainers to participate in online college classes and degree completion. Such classes are ideal for many learners, including nontraditional college students who are already busy with full-time jobs and family commitments, or high school students who are jump starting their postsecondary education. The University of Maine System is a leader in this innovative teaching model, and it is my hope that other institutions of higher education become leaders, too.

Only 46 percent of Maine adults have completed postsecondary education resulting in the attainment of a credential of value – be that an associate degree, bachelor’s degree, military service, apprenticeship or certification completion. At the same time, we know that some form of postsecondary education will be necessary for two-thirds of Maine jobs in the next decade.

That’s why nearly 100 businesses and organizations across Maine have joined the coordinated and united MaineSpark campaign to focus on bringing our collective work together to achieve the state’s goal that 60 percent of adults in Maine hold a credential of value by 2025. We are doing this work to help Maine grow the skilled workforce we know we need to fill the job vacancies of today and tomorrow, and to create a sustainable economy for future generations.

Achieving this goal will take all forms of learning and pathways, and we need every Maine person involved in making our goal a reality. Online learning is an important piece of this mix. I echo the sentiment shared by University of Maine System Chancellor James Page that we need to meet students where they are, and for many, the only way to do that is online.

Ed Cervone

executive director, Educate Maine


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