College & Workforce Readiness

Maine Seeks to Spur College Applications

By Alyson Klein — May 22, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

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


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.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attend to the Whole Child: Non-Academic Factors within MTSS
Learn strategies for proactively identifying and addressing non-academic barriers to student success within an MTSS framework.
Content provided by Renaissance
Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum How to Teach Digital & Media Literacy in the Age of AI
Join this free event to dig into crucial questions about how to help students build a foundation of digital literacy.

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

College & Workforce Readiness What the Research Says The State of Career and Technical Education, in Charts
New federal data shows more than 8 in 10 high school graduates completed at least one course in a career-education field in 2019.
2 min read
Young girl working on an electrical panel in a classroom setting.
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion Can Mastery-Based Learning Replace Seat Time?
Developing better assessments and getting buy-in from practitioners will be key to replacing seat time as a proxy for mastery.
6 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness From Our Research Center Are Real-World Problem-Solving Skills Essential for Students?
Ensuring students' career readiness is a top priority for districts.
2 min read
Photograph of culturally diverse students and Black female teacher discussing mathematics problem at a whiteboard
College & Workforce Readiness What’s More Important to Students and Employers: Skills or Credentials?
At the Reagan Institute Summit on Education, leaders discussed the evolving value of college degrees versus career skills.
4 min read
Reagan Institute Summit on Education panelists discuss career-connected education at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute in Washington, D.C., on May 23, 2024.
Reagan Institute Summit on Education panelists discuss career-connected education at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute in Washington, D.C., on May 23, 2024.
Annie Goldman/Education Week