Nearly $170,000 will support implementation of Academic Programs of the Future initiative
The University of Maine at Augusta received a $169,287 grant award in support of its Academic Programs of the Future initiative. The grant was received from the Davis Educational Foundation established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after Mr. Davis’s retirement as chairman of Shaw’s Supermarkets, Inc.
“In making this award, the Davis Educational Foundation Trustees acknowledge UMA’s unique mission in adult learner post-secondary education and its commitment to providing quality distance education in Maine,” stated Edward MacKay, Chair of the Davis Educational Foundation Board of Trustees.
“We are honored to receive this grant and we are grateful to the Davis Educational Foundation for its support of our Academic Programs of the Future,” said UMA President Rebecca Wyke. “This initiative will provide UMA with an opportunity to develop within the pilot academic programs new civic engagement, service learning or experiential learning opportunities for students, with the goal of expanding these programs in other academic areas,” Wyke continued. “These experiences are invaluable to students, improving degree completion and employability.”
The Academic Programs of the Future initiative arose from a re-visioning process led by UMA President Wyke over the 2017-2018 academic year. This initiative identified three academic programs that would pilot the development of an integrated and assessable curriculum focused on increasing student engagement and improving academic success. The pilot academic programs are Education Pathways, Information and Library Sciences and Justice Studies.
The Academic Programs of the Future initiative intends to align and enrich the learning experience for distance and on-site students through pedagogical design, technological platform, structured interventions, and assessment of learning outcomes; and to provide faculty with incentives and support for pilot participation.
Sixty-two percent of UMA students are age 25 or older, with an average age of 33. Almost half, 49%, are first generation college students and 73% are federal Pell Grant eligible. Seven percent are veterans or active military. UMA employs flexible modalities for the delivery of education – online, ITV, and video conferencing – and flexible supports for students at a distance, such as an online new student orientation, an online writing lab and off campus library services.