The University of Maine at Presque Isle is set to receive one of the largest grant in its history this month.

The U.S. Department of Education announced that the University was selected for a 2019 Title III Strengthening Institutions Program grant worth nearly $2.25 million over a five-year cycle. UMPI is one of only 64 institutions across the country to receive this award. The grant will allow UMPI to expand access to two new career pathways— Computer Science and Health Administration—and develop stronger career readiness and experiential learning offerings for students. The campus received a different 5-year Title III grant for $2.3 million back in 1989.

 

The project includes $449,962 for the first year with the anticipation that the grant will be for 5 years, a total of $2,249,710. Nearly 88% of UMPI students are recipients of some form of federal financial aid and almost two-thirds are low-income and receive Pell grants. The work involved in the grant project allows the University to better serve this student population and meet several goals established as part of its 2020 Strategic Plan

The University will hire new faculty to create the two new bachelor’s degree programs, with two concentration areas in each program: Software Development and Information & Data Management within Computer Science, and Community Health and Health Informatics within Health Administration.

Computer Science entry-level jobs are one of the fastest-growing fields in Maine, with computer and information scientists earning an average salary of $100,660 per year. Salaries for software developers in Maine average $90,530, and such positions are expected to grow by 30% in the state by 2020.

In the area of Health Administration, 65% of health administration positions in Maine require a bachelor’s degree, with a median salary of nearly $69,000. The State of Maine anticipates 12% job growth over the next decade for health information managers, with a median income of $62,060.

In addition to new faculty positions in these high-demand, high wage career fields, the grant will fund a new computer lab, complete with Smart Classroom technologies and ergonomic student workstations, for each of the two new academic programs.