College Application Month has wrapped up and was once again a success. We  27 participating schools from across the state with activities ranging from dedicated college application support time to high school wide college campus tours. We saw students being accepted to community colleges, military programs, trade schools, and universities.  MaineCAN is proud of the work done by Maine schools. Our tagboard is filled with students who have a promising future ahead of them. 

The feedback from our participating schools has been positive. Participating for their first year,  Kerrin Erhard from Boothbay Region High School saw 42% of the Senior Class apply by the end of November. Last year at this time they only had 18%. Kerrin attributes this boost in applications to their participation in Aspire Higher Maine and College Application Month. In January MaineCAN will begin the next phase of Aspire Higher Maine and focus on FAFSA Completion. If you have any questions about participating, please contact MaineCAN.


Schools that participated in College Application Month - we need your data! Please email Kate the number of students participating and how many applications were submitted. 
Over the past few months, MaineCAN has had several requests for a database of college access programs and organizations in the state. We are currently collecting information about organizations and programs in Maine dedicated to helping students access, transition to, and succeed in postsecondary education. If you would like your organization or program to be included in our directory, please complete the directory survey. If you have questions or suggestions about this directory we welcome your email
The MaineCAN Steering Committee meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month. Our meetings are open to the public and minutes are made available on our website. If you'd like to attend an upcoming meeting, please email Kate for time and location information. 

November 15th through 17th, district representatives from each of the GEAR UP Maine teams came together at the Samoset Resort in Rockport for the first annual Building Bright Futures conference.  In convening the teams, Syntiro sought to celebrate the districts' work to date, and give them the opportunity to collaborate with GEAR UP personnel from around the state, as well as come away with new tools and knowledge to begin the work of the second grant year.
Ranjit Sidhu, President and CEO of NCCEP, kicked off the event, with a keynote highlighting GEAR UP as a movement, underscoring the many reasons we have to feel optimistic about the impact of our college aspirations work across the nation.  Matthew Marks, CEO of Associated General Contractors of Maine, also delivered some special remarks, encouraging an expanded definition of college that highlights all postsecondary experiences and emphasizing the need for skilled tradespeople across the state.  The perspectives they shared were a powerful segue to the learning sessions that followed.
The Syntiro team led sessions covering topics  from College Going Culture, Leadership, Family and Student Engagement, Students with Disabilities, and Poverty and Learning.  Rounding out the experience were informational sessions on tools such as Virtual Job Shadow and EduGuide, as well as sessions on state and national initiatives.  The capstone of the conference was a sharing session that highlighted best practices currently being implemented throughout Maine's GEAR UP districts.  
Planning for the second annual conference will shortly be underway.  Volunteers interested in helping to shape that experience can reach out to the Syntiro team of GEAR UP Maine.  
Upward Bound is very proud to announce that one of their students is the recipient of a QuestBridge College Match Scholarship. QuestBridge is an organization seeking to "Connect the world's brightest low-income students to America's best universities. "We are pleased to share that Devin Mercier of Madison will be attending Pomona College with all expenses paid (tuition, room and board, books and fees, and travel). The award will equal $66,700 per year for four years. Devin is a motivated student who has been with us since 9th grade. He plans to study political science. We hope you will share our excitement in this accomplishment!" - Elyse Pratt-Ronco, Assistant Director, Upward Bound at University of Maine at Farmington. 

Congratulations to Lynn Ploof-Davis, MaineCAN Steering Committee Member and the Director of TRIO Programs (Upward Bound & Johnson Scholars) at the University of Maine at Farmington. Lynn was recently named UMF's Staff Member of the Year. Those of us lucky enough to work with Lynn were not surprised to learn that she has received this award. Lynn works tirelessly to support students from disadvantaged homes to reach their postsecondary goals. Part of Lynn's recognition at UMF includes a prime "Staff Member of the Year" parking spot. Always putting her students first, Lynn has decided to rent out the space and donate the proceeds towards a scholarship for a future college student. Great work Lynn!
The Equity Imperative in Collective Impact -  A lot has been learned since we first heard in 2011 about collective impact as an approach to large scale social change. The collective impact framework can empower people to make a real difference in communities around the world, but the five conditions (a common agenda, shared measurement systems, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication, and backbone support organizations) are missing a critical dimension: equity. Source: Stanford Social Innovation Review
If you have a resource, opportunity, or great news to share and would like to see it included in MaineCAN's eNews, please contact Kate Leveille at
The Maine State GEAR UP program is funded through a grant (reference #P3345050037; James Davis, Project Officer) from the U.S. Department of Education to University of Maine at Farmington managed by Syntiro. 
Copyright © 2015 Maine College Access Network, All rights reserved.

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