UMFK’s Rural U Early College Program offers free first semesters of every major

FORT KENT, Maine — If you are a high school student in Maine, you can now earn the first semester of every major academic area offered at UMFK for free while still in high school, and you can do so while exploring a career as well.

Rural U Workforce is a collection of six early college career exploration pathways: each made up of 12 or more credits that can be taken online while in high school. One additional pathway in forestry is not completely online and requires that high students complete forestry-related programs at their regional career and technical school.

“Rural U Workforce is an opportunity for high school students to not only earn college credits, but also to be more precise in the courses they select; courses that will lead them on a path to a specific career area,” said Scott Voisine, UMFK’s dean of Community Education.  

The program recognizes that most high school students are very career-oriented and many have a good idea about what they want to pursue as a career after post-secondary education and training. With Rural U Workforce, early college students can start as early as their sophomore year in high school in that career and educational exploration. If they ultimately decide not to pursue that area of study when they start college, most of the credits can be used as general education and/or elective credit – so nothing is lost. Plus, it’s all free. There is no tuition or fees charged for this program.  

Rural U Workforce offers pathways in Nursing & Healthcare, Behavioral Science, Computer Technology, Biological Sciences, Forestry, Criminal Justice, and Business. The program is part of UMFK’s Rural U Early College and Concurrent Enrollment Program which served over 1,500 high school students during the 2020-21 school year. 

More information on Rural U Workforce can be found at or by calling 207-834-8645.

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