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2011 Address by MCCS President John Fitzsimmons
State of the Maine Community College System

In his biennial address to the Maine State Legislature on Wednesday, March 30, 2011, MCCS President John Fitzsimmons outlined an aggressive plan "to open wider the doors of higher education" in Maine.

MCCS President John Fitzsimmons addresses the Maine Legislature.

Delivering his biennial State of the Community College Address to a joint session of the Maine legislature, Fitzsimmons noted that only 37% of Maine adults hold a college degree, compared to 46% in the rest of New England. "Report after report has documented the link between educational attainment and economic prosperity," he said. "In Maine, that link is broken."

He said that Maine people have gotten the message and that 18,000 students are now enrolled, an increase of 76% in the last eight years. But, he explained, the colleges have been unable to serve all those who want to attend. In the fall of 2010, they had to turn away 5,300 qualified applicants due to a lack of capacity.

To address these capacity issues, the MCCS is focused on doing all it can to expand access to higher education across Maine. Its plans include:

  • Expansion of Southern Maine Community College to the former Brunswick Naval Air Station, eventually enabling the college to serve an additional 2,000 students each year.
  • The proposed expansion of Kennebec Valley Community College to the Good Will-Hinckley campus, enabling KVCC to serve 1,500 more students.
  • Continuation of the MCCS Rural Initiative, providing scholarships and degree programs to rural students and their communities.

To read a summary of the speech (press release).

To read the full text of the speech.

To hear an audio file of President Fitzsimmons' speech. (MP3 file)

To learn more about the MCCS initiatives announced by President Fitzsimmons in his speech: