UMPI's CBE Program Aims to Improve The Economy in Aroostook County

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PRESQUE ISLE, ME. (WAGM) --It is said that education can be a powerful weapon in which you can use to change the world. UMPI is using the power of a new education program to help improve the economy in Aroostook County.

"We’re finding that we’re either helping people to maintain the job that they have, be eligible for a new job, or just to be able to complete that degree as sort of an unfinished business," said CBE Program Director Carolyn Dorsey.

Carolyn Dorsey is the director of UMPI’s new Competency Based Education program. Which allows adults over the age of 24 to go back to school and earn their bachelor’s degree.

"UMPI is the first public university in New England to offer a program like this. It’s fully online, it’s offered to anyone obviously nationwide as long as they have access to the internet," said Dorsey.

The program had more than 500 applicants which made Dorsey realize that there was a need for residents to continue their education in the county.

"It obviously met the demand, because of the reaction to the program.It's really showing that we have finally found that area that meets the need. The employer's need, the student need, the employee need we have really created a program that I think will meet all of those needs and has become very successful very quick," said Dorsey.

Dorsey hopes the program will also be successful in helping the economy in the county.

"One of the other things that we do that we focus on everyday is how we can help our local economy. And this is one of those ways. It’s helping to allow people to learn new skills, be more productive in the local economy," said Dorsey.

And Dorsey says if residents can improve their education, they can improve the economy.

"So by doing that people can complete a higher degree, then they can maintain their work or move up in their career and that will help our local economy it will increase the productivity, increase what companies can do and hopefully keep that money moving through the economy," said Dorsey.

The program will also allow people to learn new skills that would be essential for the community.

"I think that as our county continues to grow one of the important things is the fact we also allow all of our residents to feel that they are meeting their full potential and that one of the things that we can do with education," said Dorsey.

The program begins in the fall, and is still accepting applications.