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UMPI to receive Maine State Merit Award from New England Board of Higher Education

The University of Maine at Presque Isle will be honored by the New England Board of Higher Education during the organization’s 14th Annual New England Higher Education Excellence Awards ceremony, being held Friday, March 4, in Boston. The University will receive the Maine State Merit Award in recognition of its Personalized Learning initiative.

Each year, NEBHE presents Regional Excellence Awards to individuals and organizations that have shown exceptional leadership on behalf of higher education and the advancement of educational opportunity, and State Merit Awards to honor the innovative work of organizations, institutions or individuals in each New England state. More than 400 people are expected to attend the Boston awards event, including leaders of education, business and government from across the six New England states. A UMPI delegation led by President Linda Schott will attend the ceremony.

“We are so proud to be recognized by the New England Board of Higher Education for the hard work our faculty and staff have been doing in the last two years to transition from a traditional teaching and learning model to one that focuses much more on students’ needs and ensuring that they can show their proficiency of the subject matter,” President Schott said. “We are at the national forefront in delivering education in this unique way, and this recognition by NEBHE is a wonderful affirmation of our efforts.”

The NEBHE Maine State Merit Award is bestowed upon an individual or organization that reflects the mission of NEBHE, including excellence in educational programming, engagement in activities which increase access to higher education and/or reduce costs associated with degree attainment, and/or enhance connections between higher education and regional business.

UMPI’s Personalized Learning initiative is transforming the University’s curriculum to a more personalized approach to delivering instruction and assessing student learning. This model aligns with changes currently underway for 2018 in K-12 education, which requires students to demonstrate what they have learned and how they have mastered the Maine Learning Results in order to graduate from high school.

UMPI’s Personalized Learning approach is more responsive to students’ needs and is outcomes-oriented while still incorporated within a traditional college classroom setting. Students study selected areas of interdisciplinary content, and then demonstrate what they have learned–via active evaluation methods such as delivering an oral presentation, assembling a written paper, or using active learning to complete a research project—in order to show their proficiency of the subject matter.

This model is flexible and personalized, permitting students who already have skills and capabilities to demonstrate their mastery and accelerate toward degree attainment. It requires active student engagement and participation, which reflects a best instructional practice in higher education. It also recognizes prior learning, thus increasing access and affordability of higher education for adult learners by focusing on performance rather than on seat time.

Since 1955, the New England Board of Higher Education has promoted greater educational opportunities for the residents of New England. Its core functions include programs and services focused on cost savings and affordability and college access and success. NEBHE also provides policy leadership on key issues related to education and promotes dialogue, research and analysis, and best practices related to education and the New England economy.

The University of Maine at Presque Isle is an institution of opportunity where every student has the ability to thrive and succeed. UMPI specializes in personalized, hands-on learning and providing access to real-world career experience. Located in the heart of northern Maine, the University of Maine at Presque Isle was established in 1903 as a state teacher’s school. The University now offers a wide range of liberal arts and professional programs, as well as several programs that are offered completely online. UMPI is one of the seven universities within the University of Maine System.

For more information about the NEBHE Excellence Awards ceremony, please visit www.nebhe.org/events/excellence2016.