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Southern Maine Community College is a community college in South Portland, Mainemarker and one of the seven colleges in the Maine Community College System.

History

Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) opened in 1946 as a day school in Augusta, Mainemarker, under the name of "Maine Vocational Technical Institute" for returning World War II veterans. An increasing enrollment and the rapid growth of various technologies necessitated more comprehensive facilities. During the summer of 1952, the Institute was moved to the site of the former Fort Preblemarker in South Portland, where it assumed the name of Southern Maine Vocational Institute. It is located close to Portland, the largest city in Maine, on a beautiful site overlooking Casco Baymarker.

Over the years, this institution evolved from a solitary technical institute into an accredited college. In the fall of 1968, the first associate of applied science degree students were enrolled, and in May 1970 the institution saw its first associate degree graduates. The then Southern Maine Vocational Institute sought accreditation by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Later this accreditation was transferred to the Associations Commission on Technical and Career Institutions when that commission was established. In 1985, the Maine legislature approved L.D. 2174, An Act to Establish the Maine Vocational Technical Institute System. This act formally grouped the then six institutions, once governed individually by the State Board of Education, into one organization under a central office structure governed by a Board of Trustees (BOT).

On June 22, 1989 the Maine legislature passed An Act to Enhance the Status of Vocational Technical Education in Maine. This act changed the name of the Maine Vocational Technical Institute System to the Maine Technical College System (MTCS) with similar name changes at each of the college within the system. At this time Southern Maine Vocation Technical Institute became SMTC.

In October 1998, the President of the MTCS and the Chancellor of the University of Maine System (UMS) worked together to bridge a gap in the higher education system structures in the state when they formed the Community College Partnership. This partnership laid the groundwork for development of community college offerings through the technical colleges that resulted in planned transferable degrees to the UMS campuses. Subsequently, the MTCS/BOT approved the awarding of associate of arts degrees in General or Liberal Studies at the technical colleges in December 1998. Southern Maine Community College revised its Mission Statement to embrace this enhanced educational position in May 1999.

Over the years, the institutional focus moved from one predominantly centered on training to one committed to a broad range of academic curricula with an emphasis on lifelong learning. SMCC now offers diverse programs offering a variety of certificate, diploma, and degree options.

Campus

The campus sits on a site overlooking Casco Bay three miles from downtown Portlandmarker. The college is complete with athletic facilities, which include baseball and soccer fields, and a full sized gymnasium. The campus includes forty buildings with residence halls and dining accommodations. The campus has many interesting features such as a brand new pier built by the State of Maine for research purposes and access to Willard Beach, the only beach in South Portland. The campus is also historically significant as the campus was once home to the military installment, Fort Preblemarker, and old bunkers are still on the campus. Southern Maine Community College is also home to a lighthouse, as Spring Point Ledge Lightmarker is situated right in Portland Harbor.

Shoreway Arboretum

The Southern Maine Community College campus also has an established arboretum which was created and is maintained by the college, named the Shoreway Arboretum. The arboretum runs along the shoreline of Willard Beach and visitors can enjoy panoramic views of Portland Harbor and islands off the coast. The arboretum contains many kinds of native salt-tolerant trees and shrubs, including a good specimen of Swiss Stone Pine .

Old Settlers Cemetery

Also in the college's grounds is the Old Settlers Cemetery, which is South Portland's oldest landmark. It was established in 1658.

Student body

More than 5,673 full- and part-time students attend Southern Maine Community College. The number of out of state students is increasing due to the construction of new dorms, which now house more than 400 resident students.Enrollments have grown 32 percent over the past five years, with more than 80,000 international students now attending community colleges in the U.S.On SMCC's South Portland Campus, there are two residence halls, Surfsite and the New Residence

References

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