EMCC Receives $50,000 Quimby Family Foundation Grant to Develop Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Degree

Sep 2, 2014

The Quimby Family Foundation has awarded $50,000 to Eastern Maine Community College to help develop a two-year Associate in Applied Science Degree in Outdoor Recreation and Tourism. EMCC plans to base the program in Millinocket.

The grant application was a joint effort by the Katahdin Region Higher Education Center and Eastern Maine Community College Foundation.

College staff and administration have spent the last year working with Katahdin Region stakeholders in business, tourism, and education to create the degree program. The curriculum includes a blend of courses in guiding, recreation management and design, expeditions, tourism development, business, marketing, and communication, along with EMCC’s general education requirements.

The curriculum development was led by local Maine recreation expert Steve Spencer. It has already received letters of support from Baxter State Park, New England Outdoor Center, Katahdin Woods and Waters, AMC Maine Wilderness Lodges, and the Chewonki Foundation.

“We are very excited about the prospect of inaugurating this academic program in the Katahdin Region,” says Lawrence Barrett, Ed.D., president of Eastern Maine Community College. “The program’s development is a response to the needs the college is hearing from business and community leaders. The goal is to capitalize on the region’s vast natural resources and provide a motivated workforce to vitalize the recreation, tourism and small business sectors of the Katahdin Region’s economy.”

The new degree program would allow for a cohort of up to 24 students to live, study and work in the Millinocket region over the course of two years. Graduates would be prepared for employment with state, county and municipal parks, guiding and outfitting companies, tour operators, recreation facilities, meeting and convention development firms, and tourism development agencies, among a variety of other career options.

Graduates would also earn their Registered Maine Guide license with up to six specialized classifications, as well as certifications in First Aid, Leave No Trace, and Chainsaw Operation.

Filed under: News