ELLSWORTH — For 20 years, the Hancock County Higher Education Center has helped area residents earn college degrees close to home and on their schedule.
The center, located at the Mill Mall, offers about 35 distant degree and certification programs through the University of Maine and Eastern Maine Community College (EMCC).
The center is an administrative arm of the University of Maine at Augusta, but students can take distance courses offered by any University of Maine campus there. The center was once known as University College at Ellsworth. The name was changed in recent years to reflect the fact that EMCC programming is now offered.
Most students are working at least part time while studying at the center. The average age of university students is probably around 33, according to its director, Bonnie Sparks. EMCC students tend to be in their mid-20s.
In celebration of its 20th birthday, the center received a fresh coat of paint and new rugs. Sparks said student associations are working on special programs for student support, such as scholarship funds.
For more education news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.