Your Journey at YourPace: Competency-Based Education for Adult Learners


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The University of Maine at Presque Isle's competency-based YourPace program is a personalized learning model developed by faculty who understand the challenges busy adults face when balancing work, family, and school. Delivered on a digital platform, our competency-based online programs are designed to leverage previous knowledge and experience as students complete course modules aligned with a list of competencies. With a focus on the adult learner, ultimate flexibility, and collaboration with business and community partners, UMPI's YourPace program is uniquely prepared to attract and retain new and existing workforce talent in MaineIn this session, learn about the "why" and "how" of UMPI's YourPace program, and hear stories of working learners whose educational journeys and career preparation have been positively impacted. 

Maine 2050: A collaborative project of Ed Forum of Maine and Educate Maine

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Maine 2050, a collaborative project of Ed Forum of Maine and Educate Maine, in partnership with Cortico, will kick off in this symposium session. What skills and capacities will Mainers need to succeed in our economic and social landscapes of 2050? What new wisdom and vision is coming from our younger generations that will drive how Maine evolves? We'll be asking industry and sector leaders, local community members, teachers, and youth to discuss these questions. Results will then be used by institutional, nonprofit, government, and business community stakeholders to forge a shared vision to inform the direction of innovation and investment in birth to post-secondary education over the next few decades. (Note: This conversation will be recorded, transcribed, and made publicly available, as will all conversations in the Maine 2050 Project.)

Bootcamp to Educational Practitioner: Meeting Maine’s Need for Paraeducators


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This interactive session outlines an innovative delivery model that uses micro-credentials to educate individuals with limited classroom experience and helps them gain skills necessary to be effective paraprofessionals in the classroom. Founded on principles of being accessible, affordable, and moving at the “speed of business,” this initiative was developed in the weeks prior to the start of the school year as Maine schools identified an intensive need to hire and train learning facilitators to assist teachers. The success of this model points to Maine’s decision to continue the initiative post-pandemic. In addition to program components, participants will learn about effective recruitment strategies we discovered during the pandemic and how this crisis strengthened our partnership with the Department of Education, school districts, and our community. These alliances, as well as lessons learned, will allow iterations of this program to be adapted to meet the dynamic needs of public education far into the future.

The Next STEP to School Design


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The Next STEP design team was formed in 2018 as a collaboration between Lewiston Public Schools and Tree Street Youth. Using a decentralized leadership model and 10 guiding principles, the team set out to 'do school differently', but we didn't know what it would look like in practice. Since then, we have co-created Next STEP practices with our students to ensure a more equitable classroom/school environment for all. This session will walk you through how we transformed these principles for equitable school design into practice, and how you can borrow, iterate, and apply them to your own schools or youth-serving organizations.

Structuring Envirothon and Environmental Science Programs to Develop an Environmentally Conscious Workforce


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Envirothon is the world's largest environmental science competition.  In order to prepare students for Envirothon at Spruce Mountain High School, for the last 25 years participants have been exposed numerous environmental careers and have developed strong STEM skills. The result has been a large number of former students that now work in forestry, wildlife management, engineering, and other environmental/STEM fields and these students bring their knowledge of environmental issues to the workplace. The session will explore how partnerships with state and local environmental organizations and businesses have allowed students to learn how environmental conservation really happens in Maine.

The Modern Classrooms Project partnership with the Maine Charter School Commission


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The Modern Classrooms Project empowers educators to meet every student's needs through an innovative, research-backed instructional model that leverages technology to implement self-paced and mastery-based learning. This model empowers teachers to foster more human connection, authentic learning, and social-emotional growth in the classroom. The Maine Charter School Commission has partnered with The Modern Classrooms Project to sponsor 10 Maine charter school teachers in their Virtual Mentorship Program. Hear from three Maine educators currently going through the program along with the Partnerships Manager from the Modern Classrooms project and the Maine Charter School Commission’s Chief Program Officer about the model and how The Modern Classrooms Project is already affecting teaching and learning in Maine.