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UMA & MMA Partner to Provide Municipal Officials and Members Access to Training

UMA & MMA Partner to Provide Municipal Officials and Members Access to Training

Date Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2024
Posted In: Training & Educational Services

In December 2023, the Maine Municipal Association (MMA) signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) expanding education and training opportunities to municipal officials across Maine.  This collaboration provides thousands of municipal officers, officials, employees, volunteers, and affiliate group members from MMA’s 484 member communities access to all UMA course offerings at a 20% discount on tuition and mandatory fees.

Brenda McAleer, UMA Dean of the College of Professional Studies & Associate Provost, is excited to collaborate with MMA to ensure that individuals providing services at the local level can access needed education at an affordable rate.  “This partnership reflects the flexibility of UMA academic programs, and the nimbleness of our service delivery. UMA is well positioned to respond quickly to workforce training needs, and UMA’s statewide presence offers numerous course options for the hundreds of MMA’s member communities. In addition, participants in this new partnership can now take advantage of discounted tuition rates on UMA’s already very affordable costs.”

This partnership was forged in recognition of the State’s ever-present workforce needs, and with special attention being paid to employees in towns and cities across Maine.  “Over the course of the last several years, the demands placed on local government leaders have not only increased in number, but also in complexity,” said Peter Osborne, Director of Educational Services for MMA. “While MMA continues to strive to adapt its educational programs to meet our members’ needs, a more collaborative effort is necessary to keep up with the changing environment.”  For this reason, at the direction of its 12-member governing board the Association has been working with several public and private entities to provide municipal officials with expanded access to educational programs, which now includes UMA.  

In addition to addressing Maine’s workforce needs and providing access to a variety of much needed educational opportunities, the program is accessible to all.  “Not only is UMA’s namesake campus in MMA’s backyard, but with a second campus in Bangor and eight centers located in Brunswick, East Millinocket, Ellsworth, Houlton, Lewiston, Rockland and Rumford, UMA offerings are readily accessible to all municipal leaders, employees and volunteers,” said Catherine Conlow, MMA Executive Director.

Additionally, programs will be offered in-person, on-line, and in some cases “hyflex,” which will allow municipal officials to participate both in-person and remotely throughout the term of the course.  Osborne observed that this flexibility is well suited for municipal employees with fixed hours and work schedules that don’t always coincide with traditional daytime or nighttime course schedules.

While UMA has a rolling admission policy, which allows students to apply throughout the year, municipal officials interested in participating in either the Summer or Fall 2024 sessions are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Summer courses begin May 13 and Fall courses start September 3.

For more information about the UMA/MMA partnership, please contact Nate Parenteau, Director of Enrollment Partnerships, at 207-621-3068 or email him at nathan.parenteau@maine.edu.