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“Maine is IT!” offers free summer courses for new IT students

Students interested in studying information technology at one of Maine’s community colleges, including Central Maine Community College in Auburn, may be eligible for scholarships to cover the cost of their coursework this summer.

The “Maine is IT!” initiative, funded by a three-year, $13 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, is making it possible for Maine’s seven community colleges to dramatically expand the courses and programs they offer in Information Technology (IT). A related scholarship program will enable some students enrolling in the programs for fall to get a free jumpstart toward their degree this summer.

Through Maine is IT!, all seven of the state’s community colleges will launch new IT courses and programs this fall in areas ranging from computer forensics to information security to information systems integration. Students who plan to enroll in these and other Maine is IT! offerings in the fall may be eligible for scholarships to cover the costs of both credit and non-credit summer courses related to their program of study.

Courses covered by the summer scholarships are being offered at five of the seven colleges in the Maine Community College System: Central Maine Community College (CMCC) in Auburn, Eastern Maine Community College (EMCC) in Bangor, Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) in Fairfield and Hinckley, Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) in South Portland and Brunswick, and York County Community College (YCCC) in Wells.

To be eligible for a summer scholarship, students must be at least 18 years of age, demonstrate financial need, and be accepted into a Maine is IT!-related program for the Fall 2014 Semester.

Maine is IT! is designed to address the growing need in Maine for skilled information technology workers across many industries. The grant, awarded through the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant (TAACCCT) Program, is projected to serve nearly 2,100 participants through dozens of new or expanded one-year certificate and two-year degree programs at the seven colleges.

The program will provide new pathways and multiple entry points for students to access the courses and programs they need to acquire the information technology skills most in demand by Maine employers. It will enable the colleges to expand two-year degree programs, add one-year certificates in areas in high demand by employers, and increase short-term training that leads to industry-recognized certifications. The federal grant will also provide students enrolled in Maine is IT! programs and courses with access to state-of-the art labs, equipment, and software.

A partial list of the Maine is IT! courses and programs that are being launched this spring and fall is posted at the MCCS website. For more information about programs and scholarships at Central Maine Community College, contact Emily Butterfield at 755-5375 or ebutterfield@cmcc.edu.

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