MAY 2020 —
College Next is a program to help adults navigate the college world.
Spring 2020 graduating class of seven shown here in their Zoom classroom along with RSU13 instructors, Peg Junge, Caitlin Clark, and Brenda Hio-Hamdan.
Program History & UMA Partnership
The CollegeNEXT program is run by RSU13 Adult & Community Education, with funding provided by the Maine College and Career Access grant. UMA-Rockland Center generously provides classroom and computer lab space, and advisors refer students to the program. Peg Junge, the coordinator and primary instructor for the program, has taught every class since its inception. There have been nine cohorts of students since 2014 who have completed semester-long classes. The structure of the program is modeled after Belfast Adult Ed’s College Connection class. Students can enroll in the COL100 “Introduction to the College Experience” class, which includes career advising and exploration, college structures and vocabulary, note taking and study strategies, technology instruction, support accessing college applications, financial aid and scholarships, and group discussions. All students are offered English and Math skill-building classes, which meet before and after COL100, to improve their academic skills and increase their scores on the Accuplacer. This semester, the University of Maine system shifted classes online as of March 13th, so both students and instructors got a crash course in remote learning via Zoom. Seven students successfully completed the course despite this disruption, and are on track to enroll in college in the fall. Graduates of the program who enroll at UMA receive 3 elective credits on their transcript for the free COL100 class.
College Next Student Profile
Beth Pierce is a committed and engaged student who successfully completed CollegeNEXT this semester. She found out about the program through a post on UMA-Rockland Center’s Facebook page. She had previously enrolled at a private college out of state when she graduated from high school, but needed to drop out for financial reasons. About four years ago, she took a UMA communications class with Mr. Moro and loved it, but was not in a position in her life to commit to more school. She wanted another avenue to restart her college career so that she could feel prepared and ready to jump in with both feet. She is applying to the elementary teaching program, with a focus on special education, and is considering a full time schedule for the fall. She said “I want to prove to myself that I can do this and finish, and I want to prove to my son that no matter what learning differences you have, you can do it.” When asked what she likes about the class, she said, “ I have really enjoyed the community, and it’s nice getting to know older and younger students with different life experiences.” We wish Beth all the best as she begins her summer classes and pursues her college goals!
The one who started it all...
Peg Junge, College Next Founder, Coordinator, and Instructor.
Peg has been a cornerstone of programming at RSU13 Adult & Community Ed since 2014. She teaches both College Transition Math and the Introduction to the College Experience class. A non-traditional student herself, she completed a BS in Business Management at UMA in 2013. She is a math whisperer in the High School Completion program and has tutored many HiSET students to successfully pass the math exam. This year, students at both RSU13 Adult Ed and Fivetowns Adult Ed have the opportunity to work with Peg in both Math and Science. Peg views College Next as a way for students to “try out” college at no-cost, gain confidence in themselves as scholars, explore career ideas, and make well-informed education plans with the support of trained professionals. Guest speakers with specialized knowledge are brought in to guide students with the financial aid process, library research, college enrollment, and course registration. Peg is always looking to improve the course content and make the class more dynamic and enjoyable for students. URock staff report that College NEXT grads go on to be well-prepared, successful college students who often become leaders among their peers. Staff and students alike value Peg for her dedication to the College NEXT program, its students, and its many alumni in the mid-coast community.