23 University Drive, Fort Kent, ME 04743-1292, USA
The University of Maine at Fort Kent (UMFK) has a storied past, originating in 1878 as the Madawaska Training School. This institution was established to Americanize French settlers in the region and train teachers for the St. John Valley community. Initially, the school alternated between Fort Kent and Van Buren, but eventually settled in Fort Kent in 1903 after facing overcrowding issues.
The first principal of the Madawaska Training School, Vetal Cyr, described the original schoolhouse as "small and cold," and advocated for a new building to accommodate the growing number of students. State Superintendent of Common Schools, E. P. Wentworth, visited the school and recommended relocating it to a new site. In 1948, the school transitioned into Fort Kent State Teachers College.
The institution underwent further changes in the following decades, becoming Fort Kent State College in 1961 and finally the University of Maine at Fort Kent in 1970. As a member of the University of Maine System, UMFK is a public college offering associate and bachelor's degrees in various fields, including nursing, education, business, and environmental studies.
UMFK is renowned for its academic excellence, with a highly qualified faculty dedicated to providing a challenging and rewarding educational experience for students. The university is also home to the Acadian Archives/Archives acadiennes, which opened in 1990 after securing state funding in 1989. These archives document the language, culture, and history of the Valley's borderland communities and the larger, transnational Acadian story.
The Acadian Archives/Archives acadiennes house a vast collection of English- and French-language manuscript materials, including rare newspapers, nineteenth-century maps, scrapbooks, ledgers, corporate documents, songbooks, diaries, and over 20,000 photographs. The oldest item in the collection is a seventeenth-century commission awarded to Charles de Saint-Etienne de la Tour for the colonization of Acadia by Louis XIV. The archives also serve as a genealogical research center.
In addition to its academic and cultural offerings, the University of Maine at Fort Kent is known for its annual Fiddlers Jamboree, which features musicians from both Canada and the United States. The university's athletic teams, called the Bengals, compete in seven intercollegiate varsity sports such as basketball, soccer, and track & field.
The University of Maine at Fort Kent's rich history and commitment to preserving and promoting Acadian culture and language are evident in its mission and values. Prospective students can expect a vibrant and dynamic institution dedicated to providing a high-quality education and preparing them for success in their chosen careers.
The University of Maine at Fort Kent boasts a diverse range of faculties and departments for students to explore. Within the Arts and Sciences department, students can find programs such as Biology/Environmental Studies, Forestry, Conservation Law Enforcement, and Rural Public Safety Administration. The Behavioral Sciences department offers courses in Psychology and Criminal Justice & Public Safety, while the Humanities and Professional Studies department includes programs in Computer Science, English, Business, and Music.
In addition to these academic departments, the University of Maine at Fort Kent also offers courses in Natural Sciences, such as Chemistry and Forestry, as well as a Health Sciences department that includes Nursing. The university is equipped with a library and media services department, and a facilities maintenance department to support students' needs.
The Athletics department at the University of Maine at Fort Kent is overseen by Carly Flowers, the Director of Athletics, and features several coaches and administrative specialists. Furthermore, the university has a Financial Aid department, a Human Resources department led by Debra Pelletier, the Director of Human Resources, and an IT department managed by Sara Farnham, the Cito-Campus IT Officer and Director of IT Communications.
The University of Maine at Fort Kent is situated in the northeastern town of Fort Kent, which serves as the starting point for two major highways, U.S. Route 1 and Route 11. This town is also the gateway to the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, providing ample opportunities for outdoor sports activities and research. The campus itself is located at 23 University Drive, Fort Kent, with the ZIP Code 04743-1292. It is nestled in the Saint John River Valley, near the northern extent of the Appalachian Mountains and the forests of New England, offering a picturesque setting for students.
The University of Maine at Fort Kent is easily accessible, with the Northern Maine Regional Airport being the nearest airport to the campus.
The University of Maine at Fort Kent (UMFK) is dedicated to providing affordable, technologically-enhanced, and professionally-focused education programs to a diverse range of learners and aspiring professionals in rural communities in Maine and beyond. The institution aims to engage and nurture its students through personalized attention and relevant, experiential academic programs and services. UMFK's vision is to transform students into professionals equipped with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to meet the evolving demands of a modern workforce.
UMFK values its community, student experience, students' career aspirations, campus climate, impact, natural setting, collaborations, and ingenuity. The university acknowledges the unique challenges faced by rural communities in America and strives to preserve and foster an appreciation of the Acadian and Franco-American heritage and culture. At the same time, UMFK welcomes students of all ethnic and racial heritages, believing that a diverse student body enriches the learning experience for all.
The University of Maine at Fort Kent envisions itself as a premier regional university, recognized for excellence in teaching, learning, and scholarship, as well as its commitment to the economic, social, and cultural development of the St. John Valley and beyond. The institution's core values include academic excellence, student-centeredness, community engagement, diversity, and sustainability.
In addition to its educational mission, UMFK supports community-sponsored events such as the Can-Am Crown, the World Cup Biathlon in 2004, and the International Paralympics Committee (IPC) Nordic Skiing World Championships in March 2005. The university regularly assesses its mission and seeks broad input at multiple levels within the University and the University of Maine System (UMS) to ensure that its mission and vision remain current, relevant, and widely understood.
The University of Maine at Fort Kent holds accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), having been re-accredited in March 2016. Among its various programs, the nursing program at the university is approved by both the Maine State Board of Nursing and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Furthermore, the Applied Forest Management Program at the University of Maine at Fort Kent has received accreditation from the Society of American Foresters (SAF) through 2028.
In addition to these accreditations, the University of Maine at Fort Kent offers a range of accredited Bachelor of Science in Business Management programs. These include Financial Services, Forest Management, Healthcare Administration, Human Resource Management, Sports Management and Recreation, E-Business, Entrepreneurship and Management, Finance, and Accounting. The university also provides a Bachelor of Science in Rural Public Safety Administration, which features various specializations for students to choose from.
Name of the institutionUniversity of Maine at Fort Kent
Level of institutionFour or more years
Granulation by control over the institution (public/private)Public
School typeFour-year college
Setting typeRural: Remote
Institution size category1,000 - 4,999
Main student bodyCoeducational
Institutional CategoryDegree - granting, primarily baccalaureate or above
Health Professions and Related Programs$61,135