The University of Maine at Fort Kent will become a model “rural university” in New England, creating pathways to educational opportunity and professional success for rural communities and people.
UMFK will nurture and engage a diversity of learners and aspiring professionals in Maine’s rural communities and beyond through affordable, technologically-enhanced, and professionally-focused educational programs.
Building upon its historical roots and distinguishing characteristics, the University of Maine at Fort Kent:
- Was founded as the Madawaska Training School in 1878 to prepare bilingual teachers to serve the French-speaking people of Northern Aroostook County
- Is a small public institution offering quality baccalaureate and associate degree programs with a legacy of quality teaching
- Is where education meets the great outdoor environment - situated in historic Fort Kent and nestled in the Saint John River Valley, at the northern extent of the Appalachian Mountains and forests of New England, providing abundant resources for learning and research opportunities, and the joys of outdoor sports activities
- Serves the educational needs of the Saint John Valley, Aroostook County, State of Maine and responds to global trends
- Prepares well-educated, independent thinkers to live in a diverse and global society
- Talented and dedicated faculty and staff promote discovery and exploration of knowledge, life-long learning, and global citizenship through effective teaching, service, and scholarship
- Offers a curriculum that emphasizes unique challenges of rural communities in America
- Fosters an appreciation and stewardship of Northern Maine’s pristine natural environment through the Environmental Studies, Forestry, and Biology degree programs
- Preserves, cultivates, and celebrates the Franco-American/Acadian culture in the St. John Valley and houses one of two Acadian Archives/Archives acadiennes in the nation
- Is the only institution in the United States located at the center of French culture of northern Maine, northern New Brunswick, and Québec, offering opportunities for students of all ethnic and racial heritages to study and live in a bilingual community
- Is a strong social, cultural, and economic driving force in the region and promotes rural sustainable development
Fort Kent, one of Maine’s northernmost towns, is the beginning of two highways: U.S. Route 1 and Route 11. The famous U.S. Route 1, a scenic route, starts in Fort Kent and passes through the easternmost towns of Maine bordering Canada and ends up in Key West, Florida. The town also serves as a gateway to the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. From the Allagash Waterway through a forested wilderness, an adventurous canoe trip will take one down to the St. John River. Excellent alpine and cross-country skiing are additional attractions of the community. Of special note is the five-minute walk from the UMFK campus to the beautiful Fish River which flows into the St. John River that serves as the international boundary between Maine and New Brunswick, Canada.
About the Campus
The University of Maine at Fort Kent is a fifty-three acre, sixteen building campus located in the heart of Fort Kent. The University is situated on a bend of the Fish River, just before it joins the St. John River. This unique setting provides a friendly, relaxed environment in which each individual is challenged by an exciting and worthwhile educational experience.
Campus buildings include Cyr Hall, which houses administrative and business offices, classrooms, a computer lab and science labs, as well as Fox Auditorium. Three resident halls, Crocker Hall, Powell Hall, and “The Lodge” have the capacity to house 300 students. Blake Library contains the university collection, computing facilities, quiet and group study spaces, and an exhibit area. Dining facilities are located in Nowland Hall. Neighboring the Ray Fournier Biological Park is the University’s Sports Center, which is equipped with racquetball courts, a weight room, a cardio room, as well as space for a variety of specialized activities. The Old Model School houses a computing lab and classrooms. Nadeau Hall houses the Nursing program, faculty offices, and a conference center. The Acadian Archives building includes a collection of materials relating to the French-Acadian heritage of the area. The Physical Plant building houses the equipment used to keep the campus attractive and well groomed. The Armory houses the Forestry Program - classrooms and a computer lab as well as the new biomass heating system. The new heating system provides heat and hot water to nine buildings on the main campus.
The University of Maine at Fort Kent is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, a non-governmental, nationally-recognized organization whose affiliated institutions include elementary school systems through collegiate institutions offering post-graduate instruction.
Accreditation of an institution by the New England Commission indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of instructional quality periodically applied through a peer group review process. An accredited school or college is one which has available the necessary resources to achieve its stated purposes through appropriate educational programs, is substantially doing so, and gives reasonable evidence that it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. While institutional accreditation does not guarantee individual competence of students, it does provide reasonable assurance about the quality of opportunity available.
The baccalaureate nursing program is separately accredited by the Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education and also has been approved by the Maine State Board of Nursing. The associate program in forestry is accredited by the Society of American Foresters.
Inquiries regarding the status of any of the institution’s accreditation should be directed to the Academic Affairs office.