Collegiate News: Husson University online, science award

Tue, 11/14/2023 - 8:00am

College students from Knox and Waldo counties are finding success in schools close to home and across the country. This week we highlight the following:

Husson University Online Celebrates Recent Academic Award Recipients

BANGOR, MAINE (11/06/2023) — Husson University Online is pleased to celebrate the academic achievements of students recently named to the President's List, Dean's List and Honors List for Term 1 of the 2023-2024 academic year.

Rebecca Dicintio of Swanville - Honors

Alyssa Swan of Thomaston - President's List

Courses for full-time online undergraduate students are offered over the course of seven weeks. This accelerated timeframe provides adult learners with an opportunity to balance existing personal and professional commitments as they complete their studies.

Full-time online students who earn President's List recognition must be enrolled as an undergraduate, carry a full-time load of 12 credit hours over the course of 21 weeks, complete all attempted courses in the time allotted, and achieve a 3.80 to 4.0 semester grade-point average. Credits from pass/fail classes do not qualify toward meeting the minimum credit hour requirement.

Full-time online students who earn Dean's List recognition must be enrolled as an undergraduate, carry a full-time load of 12 credit hours over the course of 21 weeks, complete all attempted courses in the time allotted and achieve a 3.60 to 3.79 semester grade-point average. Credits from pass/fail classes do not qualify toward meeting the minimum credit hour requirement.

Full-time online students who earn Honors List recognition must be enrolled as an undergraduate, carry a full-time load of 12 credit hours over the course of 21 weeks, complete all attempted courses in the time allotted, and achieve a 3.40 to 3.59 semester grade-point average. Credits from pass/fail classes do not qualify toward meeting the minimum credit hour requirement.

For 125 years, Husson University has prepared future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has offered quality educational programs in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; and communication. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit

Growth in online degree programs stabilizes University of Maine System enrollment

At a Board of Trustees meeting today in Presque Isle, System leaders shared how new online degree programs like University of Maine at Presque Isle’s YourPace that are designed to upskill working adults are meeting state employer needs and helping the System maintain enrollment despite demographic declines and free college alternatives

PRESQUE ISLE — The University of Maine at Presque Isle has defied national enrollment trends and is meeting the needs of more working Mainers and their employers by rapidly expanding affordable, flexible online degree programs.

At a University of Maine System Board of Trustees meeting today in Presque Isle, UMPI President Ray Rice announced that the rural public university’s enrollment had increased 67% over the past five years to 1,509 students, and is up nearly 20% just from last fall.

That growth has been largely driven by UMPI’s YourPace online competency-based degrees, which allow students to advance on their own schedule as they master real-world competencies covered in their courses. Students pay a flat fee per session, regardless of how many courses they choose to take, and there are six sessions throughout the year, allowing them to learn when it works best for their busy lives. They also receive credit for prior learning and work experience, and academic and other support as they progress toward their degree.

“I was unsure of where my career was headed,” said YourPace student Jamie Guerette, of Presque Isle. “While I could see the benefit of a business and marketing degree in the job market, as a mother of two with a demanding job and active roles in the community, I couldn’t see anything I could give up to make in-person classes on a set schedule work for our family. Thanks to YourPace, in three sessions I have completed my degree and have since secured a great new job working for a local nonprofit. The workload of YourPace was intense but it has been incredibly worth it.”

UMPI launched YourPace in 2017 with a single Bachelor of Business Administration degree offering, but has since added 14 new in-demand degrees or concentrations allowing adult learners to earn four-year degrees focused in accounting, criminal justice, project management and information systems, and supply chain management.

In Fall of 2019, distance education made up less than one-third of the credit hours delivered by UMPI. Thanks to the popularity of YourPace programming, three-quarters of credit hours are delivered to students accessing courses away from the Presque Isle campus. Overall, distance education now makes up 37% of all credit hours delivered by UMS this semester, compared to 23% prior to the pandemic.

President Rice projects UMPI could more than double the number of credit hours it delivers over the next five years, potentially making it one of the largest universities in the System in terms of credit hour generation.

“Our new UMS strategic plan prioritizes growing enrollment and the size and skill of the Maine workforce, including by helping adults with some college complete their door-opening degree,” said Chancellor Dannel Malloy. “UMPI’s YourPace proves what is possible when we pioneer innovative models of delivering relevant, high-quality education to learners wherever they are, and in ways that are proven to accelerate their professional and personal success, and our state’s economy.”

In part because of YourPace, the overall number of credit hours being taken by students at Maine’s public universities this fall is above what was budgeted and just 2.3% less than last year actuals, with enrollment higher than projected at UMPI, the University of Maine at Fort Kent, the University of Southern Maine and the University of Maine School of Law offsetting slight declines at other campuses.

“Against the headwinds within higher education, the University of Maine System has met the challenge, increasing online and graduate enrollment and exceeding expectations in overall enrollment,” said UMS Board of Trustees Chair Trish Riley. “There is still more work to do to assure our sustainability and grow for the future but it is important to recognize that the consistent and insistent efforts of our universities to meet the needs of all learners are paying off for Maine.”

Overall headcount across the System was down just 1.1% over last fall to 24,134 students, a smaller decline than in the previous year. A 2.4% decrease in the number of undergraduate students — with an even sharper 9.6% drop in first-time, in-state students — was offset by a 4.4% increase in graduate enrollment.

There are now 4,737 students enrolled in UMS graduate programs, up 22% from five years ago, as employer demand for Mainers with advanced degrees has led the System to expand graduate programming including UMFK’s fully online Master of Science in Nursing launched in 2022.

The System’s focus on adult degree completion and graduate education has led to an increase in enrollment among Mainers 25 and older, who now comprise 40% of the total student body compared to 34% in Fall 2019. The percentage of UMS students who are Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian or who identify as belonging to more than one racial category is also up when compared to last year and five years ago.

The majority of UMS students are from Maine, while 28.4% are from out-of-state and 3.5% are international. Cumberland, Penobscot, York, Kennebec, Androscoggin and Aroostook counties send the most students to the System. The number of Canadian students enrolled (258) has doubled since the fall prior to the pandemic, and there have also been notable increases over that period in the number of students from Florida (+40%), New York (+30%), California (+26%) and Pennsylvania (+20%).

After years of decline, transfers to UMS from the Maine Community College System are up 9.9% from one year ago to 546 students this fall. Maine’s public universities maintain more than 200 articulation agreements to allow MCCS students to seamlessly transition when their personal aspirations or career goals compel them to complete a bachelor’s or advanced degree.

The System’s Fall 2023 enrollment report is publicly available here.

Local High School Student Wins RPI Medal, Scholarship

Award recognizes promising students who excel in math and science

TROY, N.Y. – For more than 100 years, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in conjunction with high schools around the world, has awarded the Rensselaer Medal and scholarship to promising high school juniors who have distinguished themselves in mathematics and science. The merit scholarship, with a value of $40,000 per year, is guaranteed for four years (or five years for the Bachelor of Architecture program) for each Medalist who is accepted and enrolls at Rensselaer.

Rensselaer is pleased to announce that Griffin Spear, who hails from Rockport, Maine, is among the honorees. Griffin attends Camden Hills Regional High School.

“The Rensselaer Medal honors students for their hard work, drive, focus, and collaborations,” said Karen Long, director of undergraduate admissions. “The winners represent the next generation of leaders, scientists, innovators, artists, scholars, game designers, architects, humanitarians, and entrepreneurs.”

More than 5,000 high schools throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia may nominate students for the Rensselaer Medal, which is the oldest prize of its kind in the United States. More than 150 Medalists enroll in each freshman class at Rensselaer.

The Rensselaer Medal was first presented in 1916 with two purposes: to recognize the superlative academic achievement of young men and women, and to motivate students toward careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

Each participating high school is allowed to nominate one member of the junior class to be honored with the Rensselaer Medal Award. Faculty and staff with the secondary school designate the nominees. For more information, contact the Medal Program in the Office of Admissions, at (518) 276-6216 or via email at


About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute:

Round in in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, over 30 research centers, more than 140 academic programs including 25 new programs, and a dynamic community made up of over 6,800 students and 110,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include upwards of 155 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration. To learn more, please visit