The Maine Board of Education voted unanimously today to give Unity College degree-granting authority at the master’s level, complementing the College’s existing Associates and Bachelor’s degrees.

“This unanimous vote gives Unity the state’s approval to offer master’s level degrees of all kinds,” said Unity College President Dr. Stephen Mulkey. “This approval is a historic moment for Unity College and allows the College to continue its upward trajectory as we find new ways to engage students around sustainability science issues. We are beginning with the Master of Professional Science degree and will consider additional master’s degrees as the program develops.”

The Maine Board of Education action officially accepted the recommendation of the Maine Department of Education, which voted unanimously last summer to recommend in favor of our proposal.

With the overwhelming support of the Unity College Board of Trustees, and the dedication of the faculty and staff to make this critical Board of Education vote a reality, the College is now focused on obtaining the approval of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and launching the programs in the Fall.

“Unity College has been planning for this initiative for quite some time” said Dr. Melik Peter Khoury, Unity College’s Executive Vice President & Liaison to the Board of Trustees. “The addition of the graduate program will not only add breadth to our curricular offerings, but will also allow us to continue to have an important economic impact on the region. As the business model in higher education continues to evolve, diversifying our offerings to include a master’s program is a very intentional approach to increasing the value of a Unity College degree.”

The Master of Professional Science degree will be offered in Fall 2015 as a hybrid online/campus model. “We are delighted with the support shown by the State,” said Dr. Michael Evans, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Unity. “This approval will help Unity achieve its goal of achieving national prominence. Unity’s mission is critically important, and the ability to offer master’s degrees will help the College extend that mission to new populations of students, especially those who are unable to come to campus on a regular basis.”

About Unity College

Unity College proudly celebrates its 50th year in 2015. The first institution of higher education in the nation to divest from fossil fuel investments, Unity is committed to educating the next generation of environmental professionals. Sustainability science lies at the heart of its educational mission, with 16 environmentally-focused undergraduate majors offered on campus, and launching online undergraduate and graduate degrees Fall 2015.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015