In 1862, Maine College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts was founded in Orono as Maine’s land-grant university. Throughout the years, the university has grown to consist of six campuses total, including its flagship campus in Orono, and campuses in Augusta, Farmington, Fort Kent, Machias, and Presque Isle. Today, the UMaine at Augusta is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). It also hosts an online university, referred to as the University of Maine online, which allows students to take online courses or get their online diploma. A list of their online degrees can be found on their website, but some examples of the university’s distance learning offerings are associate, bachelor’s, or minors in applied science, computer information systems, education, library services, and social sciences.
The University of Southern Maine is the result of the merger between Gorham Normal School and the University of Maine at Portland. This merger of two of Maine’s state universities took place in 1970. Today, the university consists of three campuses located in Gorham, Lewiston, and Portland; the university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs to its nearly 10,000 students. It is also home to one of Maine’s NEASC accredited online universities. Its online bachelors degree offerings include business administration, liberal studies, applied technical leadership, leadership and organizational studies, and communications, plus three certificate and one minor program. Its online graduate programs consist of adult and higher education, teacher education, and leadership studies programs, in addition to two graduate certificate programs. Students interested in UMaine’s online programs can consult with an online advisor by phone, face-to-face, or through Skype.
A private, Catholic university, Saint Joseph’s College of Maine was established in 1912 just outside of Portland in Standish. Accredited by the NEASC, the college is home to more than 3,000 undergraduate, graduate, and distance students. Its accredited online degrees are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels and serve about 2,500 online students. Undergraduate offerings include, but are not limited to, business administration, criminal justice, and theological studies degrees. Graduate offerings consist of pastoral theology, business administration, education, health administration, nursing, and accounting. It also offers students continuing education courses, certificate programs, and the chance to receive their associates degree online.
Three of Maine’s most prominent industries are agriculture, forestry, and tourism. Agriculture in Maine comprises of eggs, dairy, cattle, and poultry. Those who are in, or wish to be in, Maine’s agricultural industry with higher ranking positions will find degrees such as agribusiness, management, operations management, agricultural sciences, and veterinarian sciences helpful in their career pursuits. Forestry is another of Maine’s major industries, making wood products, paper, and boats and ships some of its commonly produced goods. Degrees helpful in this industry are environmental sciences, quality assurance, and forestry. Finally, tourism remains a large industry in Maine. Popular sports such as skiing, snowmobiling, fishing, and hunting are common in the state, drawing in tourists. Common degrees that are useful in the tourism industry are hospitality management, hotel management, and restaurant management.
Although online classes require students to have a strong sense of self-discipline, they are highly convenient and allow students a flexible learning experience. Online courses consist of three different learning types: asynchronous, synchronous, and hybrid. Asynchronous learning entails the ultimate flexibility; students complete work when it fits into their schedule. Synchronous learning is less flexible, but also less solitary; students must attend virtual classes at specific times and dates. Hybrid learning, on the other hand, is a combination of online courses and onsite instruction. And these options perhaps showcase one of best benefits of online learning, being that students can choose programs that best suit the way they learn and their life’s schedule.