Maine Universities Launch New Engineering Education Pathway
The University of Maine System will launch the Maine Engineering Pathways Program in the Fall of 2018 to help more students prepare for a Maine-based career in engineering and to build workforce development capacity in response to a critical state shortage.
The program is designed to prepare students to graduate in four years from an accredited engineering program ready to join the Maine workforce in a field with starting annual salaries in excess of $60,000.
Engineering employment has grown 25% over the last decade and Maine firms annually seek to fill more than 1,400 engineering vacancies. These positions are critical to maintaining the safety of Maine’s roads and bridges, sustaining the state’s utility infrastructure and leading Maine’s manufacturing sectors.
Maine’s public universities are the state’s only pathway to an engineering degree and are working to double engineering education capacity to help meet a statewide workforce need of more than 3,000 new engineers over the next decade. The projected workforce shortage is driven by growing industry demand and an anticipated wave of retirements among existing engineers.
“Demand for engineers at Pratt and Whitney will continue to be strong for the foreseeable future,” said Kevin McDonnell, Director of Engineering at Pratt and Whitney North Berwick Aero Systems. “We have our biggest backlog of new engine deliveries since World War II, and many new engine programs under development. The University of Maine System has a proven track record of providing us top notch engineers. Pratt and Whitney will continue to look to the Maine University System to provide us with the best and brightest engineers as we develop and build the next generation of gas turbine engines.”
The 1 + 3 Maine Engineering Pathways Program creates an opportunity for students to begin the first year of their engineering education at the Bangor and Augusta campuses of the University of Maine at Augusta, the University of Maine at Farmington, the University of Maine at Machias, or University of Maine at Presque Isle and then complete their engineering degree at the University of Maine or the University of Southern Maine.
Students will also be able to access the program at University College locations in Bath/Brunswick, East Millinocket, Ellsworth, Houlton, Norway/South Paris, Rockland, Rumford, and Saco with a potential requirement for limited travel to a campus for lab work.
The program is intended to serve students who want to begin their academic careers at an institution closer to home or may need access to extra preparation to be ready for the academic rigors of engineering education. It also provides students at participating institutions with a chance to explore engineering as a possible career.
Students entering the Maine Engineering Pathways Program will immediately begin their engineering education at participating institutions taking an introductory course to explore engineering as a career and foundational courses in mathematics and science. Following the successful completion of about 35 credits students will be able to transfer to either the University of Maine or the University of Southern Maine on track to earning a work-ready degree in engineering in just three additional years.
Interested students and parents can learn more by visiting the Maine Engineering Pathways Program website, downloading this fact sheet, or by contacting the admission offices of the participating institutions.
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