College & Workforce Readiness

Maine Seeks to Spur College Applications

By Alyson Klein — May 22, 2007 1 min read

Beginning next year, Maine might become the first state to tell its students they must fill out a college or other application for postsecondary training before they can receive a high school diploma.

“We are asking every high school student, not just a few, to give serious thought to their own futures and the opportunities they can create for themselves,” Rep. Glenn Cummings, the speaker of the Maine House of Representatives and the bill’s sponsor, said in a statement.

Speaker Cummings, a Democrat, modeled his proposal on a similar policy in place at Poland Regional High School in Poland, Maine. The school goes further than the state legislation would, requiring all students not only to complete but also to submit college applications in order to graduate. As a result, Poland Regional High has seen its college-going rates nearly double, according to Tim Feeley, a spokesman for Mr. Cummings.

Mr. Cummings is hoping the measure might produce similar results statewide. Maine ranks last among the New England states in college-degree attainment. Just 49 percent of the state’s high school graduates entered college in the fall of 2004, compared with 59 percent in the region, according to the Maine Compact for Higher Education.

No state has made completing an application for postsecondary education a graduation requirement for all its students, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver.

The measure would permit the Maine Department of Education to encourage students to complete applications for college, the military, and other postsecondary opportunities. Susan A. Gendron, the state education commissioner, has said she planned to use the rulemaking process to make the application idea a requirement, said David A. Connerty-Marin, a spokesman for the department.

The measure has won preliminary approval in both houses of the Maine legislature, and both are expected to give final approval soon. Gov. John E. Baldacci, a Democrat, is expected to sign the measure when the legislature adjourns, as it’s scheduled to do next month, Mr. Feeley said.

See Also

See other stories on education issues in Maine. See data on Maine’s public school system.

For more stories on this topic see College and Careers.

A version of this article appeared in the May 23, 2007 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Addressing Learning Loss: What Schools Need to Accelerate Reading Instruction in K-3
When K-3 students return to classrooms this fall, there will be huge gaps in foundational reading skills. Does your school or district need a plan to address learning loss and accelerate student growth? In this
Content provided by PDX Reading
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Culturally Relevant Pedagogy to Advance Educational Equity
Schools are welcoming students back into buildings for full-time in-person instruction in a few short weeks and now is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and systems to build
Content provided by PowerMyLearning
Classroom Technology Webinar Making Big Technology Decisions: Advice for District Leaders, Principals, and Teachers
Educators at all levels make decisions that can have a huge impact on students. That’s especially true when it comes to the use of technology, which was activated like never before to help students learn

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
College & Workforce Readiness Whitepaper
Prepare Students with Work-Based Learning
Download this toolkit to learn how your school or district can build community partnerships to provide students with access to real-world...
Content provided by Naviance
College & Workforce Readiness What the Research Says College Enrollment Dip Hits Students of Color the Hardest
The pandemic led to a precipitous decline in enrollment for two-year schools, while four-year colleges and universities held steady.
3 min read
Conceptual image of blocks moving forward, and one moving backward.
Marchmeena29/iStock/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness Letter to the Editor How We Can Improve College-Completion Rates
Early- and middle-college high schools have the potential to improve college completion rates, says this letter to the editor.
1 min read
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion There’s Insurance for Homes or Cars—Why Not College Degrees?
Rick Hess talks with Wade Eyerly, the CEO of Degree Insurance, about the company's plan to make investing in a college degree less risky.
7 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty