Mt. Desert Island Adult and Community Education is a member of the Maine Adult Education Association (MAEA).
Visit the MAEA Portal to search for courses statewide, register online, and learn more about adult education programs in your area and throughout the state.
Posted by Anne Patterson on April 11, 2018
FRENCHBORO — Mable Fitzsimmons has learned a lot since dropping out of school.
For example: “Just because you have a baby doesn’t mean you have to stop your life. I would like to inspire young girls and let them know that, even though it’s not a good thing to get pregnant in high school, you should still go for your goals.”
New graduate, mom looks to the future. PHOTO COURTESY OF MABLE FITZSIMMONS
Her goal is to become a registered nurse or medical assistant.
She recently became the first Mount Desert Island Adult Education student to earn a diploma instead of a high school equivalency credential, and she was the program’s first distance learner.
Fitzsimmons, 18, grew up in Lubec and attended Machias Memorial High School until she had a baby at the start of her senior year. She moved to Frenchboro to be with the baby’s father and took a year off from school.
But she really wanted to graduate and needed only four more credits, so this past September, she enrolled in the MDI Adult Education program, which is based at MDI High School.
“We traditionally think of adult ed students getting the HiSET, formerly the GED, which is a high school equivalency [credential],” said Anne Patterson, MDI Adult Education program director.
“But now we have a full-time teacher, and we decided last summer that we would pilot a diploma program, as long as we had students who were at least 18 years old and needed six credits or less.”
Adult ed programs in Maine can now apply to the state Department of Education to be approved as a distance learning site, and the MDI program received that approval last year.
“Distance learning can mean lots of different things,” Patterson said. “We chose to define it as helping off-shore island kids finish school. Mable was our guinea pig, our pilot student.”
Fitzsimmons met with adult ed teacher Tim McKim a few times but did most of her work via computer using an online educational program called “Odysseyware.” Student and teacher also communicated using Scribblar, an online whiteboard.
“I can write on a pad on a computer here, and it comes up on her screen over in Frenchboro,” McKim said.
Fitzsimmons said some of the course work was “sort of difficult,” but she enjoyed the flexibility of distance learning.
“I could do it on my own time, and I could be home with the baby and not have him in day care and me in school,” she said. “And Tim and Anne were wicked nice.”
She also got help from Jan Keiper, the teacher at the Frenchboro School. Keiper offered tutoring and proctored the final tests that Fitzsimmons took for each of the subjects she studied.
Fitzsimmons said she wants to start taking some college courses online while still caring for her son, James, who is now 18 months old.
“Then when James is 5, I’d like to take him and go to the mainland for school,” she said. “And five years from now, I’d like to be able to work in a hospital.”
Reporter Mount Desert Islander at
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Anne Patterson on April 9, 2018
MT. DESERT ISLAND ADULT & COMMUNITY EDUCATION
Registration and Program Information
1. ONLINE 24/7 at www.mdi.maineadulted.org
2. Mail in registration form. (Call the office to confirm space.)
3. In Person: Walk-in registrations are welcome.
Your payment reserves your space in the class. There is a $30.00 charge for returned checks.
Programs may be canceled due to insufficient enrollments. Once you have registered AND paid, you will be contacted only if there is a change in schedule. Consider yourself in the class unless we contact you.
Age: Unless otherwise notes in the course description, courses are open to individuals 17 years and older who are not attending elementary or high school. In some cases the Director may grant permission.
Refunds: If Adult Ed cancels a class, a full refund will be issued. A full refund will not be issued if students withdraws seven days or less before the start of class. A full refund (minus $5) will be made for withdrawals more than seven days from the start of class. No refunds will be made after the class starts. If a student is dissatisfied with a class, he or she may write a letter or email to the Director with an explanation. Our goal is 100% satisfaction.
If school is closed for the day, there will NOT be Adult Ed classes (even if the sun comes out). If a storm develops after school is in session, check for evening cancellations which will be broadcast over the radio (WNSX), on www.wlbz.tv, and on the website www.mdiadulted.org (as long as we have power.) Decisions will be made by 3pm. Email the Director if you are unsure. Please don’t call, as there may not be anyone in the office to receive your call.
Try something new this year at one of Maine’s 80+ local adult education programs. From Fort Kent to Kittery and everywhere in between, our programs offer thousands of classes including business skills training, fun, personal enrichment, and more. Access all programming at www.maineadulted.org.
MDI Adult Education serves Mt. Desert Island and the outer islands and Trenton. All adulte are welcome to our classes.
Posted by Anne Patterson on December 17, 2015