WATERVILLE, September 2016 — This fall, more than 700 Maine students are enrolled in Thomas College’s dual enrollment programs with more than 1,000 individual course registrations. Thomas College’s dual enrollment program serves 22 schools in Maine and allows high school students to earn transferable college credits valued at $720 per college course at no cost to the high school or student, representing an overall investment in early college access for Maine students of more than $700,000 annually.
The Thomas College Dual Enrollment program provides a unique opportunity for high schools to offer their students early college access in their respective high schools where they can continue to access supports to ensure their success.
“Thomas College is at the forefront of affordability and access to college for Maine students, especially for those with low income or who will be the first in their family to attend college,” said Thomas College Provost Thomas Edwards. “We are excited that our dual enrollment program has grown so much; it is an indicator for the demand for high-quality, early-college options for students in central Maine.”
This year, Thomas College also officially launched its Pathways program, which allows Maranacook High School students to combine dual enrollment and online courses from Thomas to complete their Associate’s degree and high school diploma at the same time. Two students from Maranacook completed their Associate’s degrees in 2016, and 11 students are currently enrolled in the program.
For those high school students seeking a taste of life on a college campus, Thomas College has also been serving students through its innovative Thomas College Institutes. In June of 2016, 70 students from area high schools completed courses in Sociology, Sport Management, History and Management in specially designed one-week intensive courses delivered by trained Thomas faculty, a taste of College life, and a free three-credit course.
In the next step of the College’s efforts to address college costs, Thomas will unveil a new suite of three-year Bachelor’s programs in the fall of 2017. These programs will allow eligible students to save more than 25 percent of the cost of a traditional college education by enabling students to complete their degrees in three, rather than the traditional four years.
“It’s about quality, accessibility and affordability,” said Provost Edwards. “We have seen what students can accomplish—and we’re ready to help them achieve their goals.”
The approach seems to be working: Thomas College has the highest overall enrollment ever – with 845 undergraduate students this fall.