Early College

Logo for ExplorEC: Early College at Maine's Public Universities

Early College (EC) within the University of Maine System (UMS) is broadly defined as any program in which high school students enroll in college courses. Students in EC programs earn transcripted college and high school credit when they successfully pass the course. EC programs are based on partnerships between Maine’s Public Universities and high schools to help students successfully transition to college.

Concurrent Enrollment

Concurrent (dual) enrollment includes courses taught by college-approved high school teachers on the high school campus. Students gain exposure to the academic challenges of college while in their supportive high school environment. Concurrent enrollment also facilitates close collaboration between high school teachers and college faculty that fosters alignment of secondary and postsecondary curricula. Information fromĀ The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships.


Aspirations provides an opportunity for Maine high school students to enroll in courses at Maine’s Public Universities that take place on a college campus or online. Courses are taught by a college professor and include high school and college students.

Bridge Academy

The Bridge Academy capitalizes on the high graduation rate of high school students enrolled in CTE courses by adding college level courses to their programming to produce a high school graduate that has up to 24 college credits and real-world credentials. This approach demonstrates the relevance (to students) of college level academics to the success of a technical career pathway. Layered into the program at every level is mentoring, creating an atmosphere of success. Information from Bridge Academy Maine.

Concurrent enrollment and Aspirations students may earn up to 12 tuition free credit hours per year (6 credits per semester). Students are responsible for fees and books in some programs. Bridge Year students may earn up to 25+ credits, at a cost of $40 per credit. All Early College Programs are supported, in part, by the Maine Department of Education.

To learn more about our revised eligibility policy for Early College download our Student Access PDF.

Early College students are more likely to finish their college degree on time.

3513 students participated in Early College in the 18-19 school year.

Early College students earned 21,570 FREE credit hours in 18-19.

Early College can help decrease student debt.

I would highly recommend the Early College program. Not only does it provide a new experience for your high school learning, but it also allows you to start to make that transition into college and start to get an idea of what college coursework is like. – Brendan, Early College Student

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Instagram