Maine Governor, Paul R. LePage, came to the University of Maine at Fort Kent last week to welcome incoming students; to encourage high school juniors enrolled in the campus’ Pleasant Street Academy Early College High School to work hard and to succeed; and to express his commitment to the on-going vitality and existence of Maine’s northern-most public university.
Classes at the University of Maine at Fort Kent won’t begin until next week, but twenty high school juniors already are earning college credit at the University thanks to a collaborative effort between UMFK and the local school administrative district.
With the start of the 2011-2012 academic year, the Pleasant Street Academy is open for business with a cohort of 20 juniors from Fort Kent’s Community High School (FKCHS). The students will be part of the state of Maine’s first early college high school, with UMFK and FKCHS serving as its incubator.
Proponents of higher education always want people to go on to college, but they also realize that there are a number of barriers in place that can steer a teenager away from the university setting and into the work force.
Officials at the University of Maine at Fort Kent are working to dissolve some of those barriers by launching a unique pilot program for high school students.