Maine Workforce Development Tuition Grants from UMaineOnline

19-Nov-2019 |

Maine Workforce Development Tuition Grants from UMaineOnline

Dear Maine Corporate Executives and Corporate Contacts,  

The University of Maine System (UMS) has declared workforce development for Maine's existing businesses and citizens a high priority. Among initiatives supported is one to expand the information system, computing, and computer science skills of employees working for Maine companies and organizations. UMS is funding tuition grants/scholarships for several more starting graduate students living in Maine for one online course during the Spring 2020 semester.

The online information systems and computing graduate programs described below and in the enclosed flier have been designed to accommodate college graduates from wide-ranging academic backgrounds. The distance courses allow students to view lectures and complete assignments each week on their own schedule. The profiles of numerous Maine working professionals already participating, whether funded by this program or from other sources, are posted along with our campus graduate student bios at

The current initiative may provide one or more of your employees the opportunity to test the water and acquire a free "jump start" in pursuit of a graduate credential in information systems and computing.

Applicants should complete the online graduate application as soon as possible in order to begin classes the week of Jan 20, 2020. Because both admission to a qualifying graduate program and awards of available grants will be accomplished on a rolling basis, applying as soon as possible rather than later is recommended. The Spring semester is fast approaching.

Following is an email announcement describing the new opportunity. Please circulate the following email to your employees as appropriate. Also enclosed is a more extensive flier that may be circulated digitally or printed for distribution and/or posting.

Thank you so much for your help in getting the word out. We would love to add one or more of your employees to one of our online graduate programs starting in January!

Best regards,

Professor Harlan Onsrud, Graduate Coordinator, School of Computing and Information Science, University of Maine
Amanda Cupps, UMaine Online Advisor

Subject: UMaine Online Tuition Grants for Workforce Development in Computing

• Are you or your business facing long-term challenges in incorporating computational thinking and the ability to communicate at a technical level among staff across your organization?
• Are you a Maine resident with at least a bachelor's degree that would like to learn computer coding or information systems design but never had the opportunity?
• Would you like to prepare yourself with foundation knowledge and skills in computer programming, digital data handling, and computer science topics that will allow you to excel in addressing computing challenges in a current or future job?
• Do you already have a computer science, engineering, or other highly technical degree but could benefit from formal graduate course work within an information system specialty domain?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, please consider the following all-coursework, online graduate programs. These rigorous programs have been designed to accommodate students from wide-ranging academic backgrounds. Among the bachelor’s degrees possessed by recent graduates and current students in these programs include: Accounting, Biology, Business Administration, Computer Science, Ecology, Economics, Education, Engineering, English, Environmental Science, Information Technology, Journalism, Library Science, Music, Natural Resources, Nursing, Resource Economics, and Sociology. Incoming students are not required to have any previous computing background. However, those with substantial computing backgrounds have greater flexibility in selecting courses to include within their graduate programs. Several tuition scholarships are available in Spring 2020. Qualifying programs for the tuition grants include:

• Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS)


• Graduate Certificate in Information Systems


• Master of Science in Spatial Informatics (MSSI)


• Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)


The core courses in these programs focus on content knowledge in coding, computer science, and data handling to provide fundamental skills to enable lifelong learning on computing topics.

The elective courses in the graduate distance degrees may be drawn from numerous domains. For instance, those with business or management interests might want to pursue graduate electives in management information systems and related topics, those with natural sciences, physical sciences or natural resources backgrounds might want to pursue electives in geographic information systems, human computer interaction and virtual reality, those with computer science and some with engineering backgrounds might want to pursue electives in cyber security, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and networking topics they may have missed during their bachelor's programs, and high school teachers desiring to teach computer science courses might want to choose electives in effective and inclusive methods for teaching computer science. Regardless of previous degrees, numerous offerings are available to meet the distance needs of each student.

Note: A Master of Science in Data Science is currently undergoing formal approval processes and may be offered in the near future as well. It is proposed to include several of the core online courses already offered through the MSIS and MSSI programs.

Whether your intent is primarily to gain fundamental knowledge enabling you to better contribute to problem solving in complex information organization and society contexts or gain in-depth knowledge in an information specialty domain, the offered graduate programs should place you on solid ground to meet future learning needs as technological changes advance.

Graduate program admission decisions and grant awards (approximately $1,350 for a 3-credit course) are made on a rolling basis. Thus, applying earlier rather than later is recommended. The Spring semester is also fast approaching.

To learn more, contact a UMaineOnline Advisor at 207.581.5858 or or call Amanda Cupps at 207.581-3452

For program specific questions, contact the Graduate Program Coordinator through 207.581.2188 or directly email Professor Harlan Onsrud at

Apply now at