February 5, 2019
The University of Maine at Fort Kent’s Applied Forestry Management program was recently reaccredited by the Society of American Foresters, the national accrediting body.
“We go through an accreditation cycle every ten years so this is my second time I’ve been through the process,” said Forestry program coordinator, Jeff Dubis. “However, it is the first time that I took the lead in preparing the self-study report, setting up the site visit by the accreditation team, and completing all of the follow-up work. The review team came up for two days and were very impressed with what they found.”
Cited in their feedback, the review team lauded UMFK’s Forestry program for their connection to industry and their advanced curriculum.
“They were particularly impressed with our unique forestry to business program,” said Professor Dubis, referring to the smooth transition UMFK forestry students can make from an associate’s degree to a bachelor of business degree.
The accreditation team met with industry leaders as well as the program’s Advisory Board to discuss their input in the direction of the program.
“The team was very complimentary of our program’s connection to the industry, our active Advisory Board, and amount of our graduates who are quickly hired by these organizations,” said UMFK’s President Short. “While we were confident of reaccreditation, it was vital to get the review teams’ feedback.”
The review team for the Society of American Foresters reviews six standards during every accreditation: curriculum; faculty; students; support from the university; program missions and goals; and programmatic organization. They also inquire about faculty development and training, though that is not a set standard.
“They like to be certain that we are covering adequate content, that our faculty are qualified and that the course distribution is equal among faculty,” said Professor Dubis. “They also make sure that our facilities support the education we are delivering. They were very pleased to see that the forestry program recently moved its entire program into its own facility on campus. This showed the visiting team that the UMFK administration has strong support for the forestry program. They were also very pleased by our GIS laboratory and the advanced technology our students are trained in, such as LiDAR, which is incorporated through much of our curriculum”
“We are proud of our state-of-the-art forestry program and how connected we are to the forestry community,” said President Short. “It is a very symbiotic relationship that we hope to grow.”
To learn more about the forestry program at UMFK, please call (207) 834-7550 or go to umfk.edu.