Southern Maine Community College
Southern Maine Community College is a community college
Community college
A community college is a type of educational institution. The term can have different meanings in different countries.-Australia:Community colleges carry on the tradition of adult education, which was established in Australia around mid 19th century when evening classes were held to help adults...

 in South Portland, Maine
South Portland, Maine
South Portland is a city in Cumberland County, Maine, United States, and is the fourth-largest city in the state. Founded in 1895, as of the 2010 census, the city population was 25,002. Known for its working waterfront, South Portland is situated on Portland Harbor and overlooks the skyline of...

, USA, and one of the seven colleges in the Maine Community College System
Maine Community College System
The Maine Community College System is Maine's comprehensive two-year college system, offering technical, career, and transfer programs; customized training; and lifelong learning. Enrollment in the MCCS has increased 62 percent in the past seven years, making the MCCS the second fastest growing...



Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) opened in 1946 as a day school in Augusta, Maine
Augusta, Maine
Augusta is the capital of the US state of Maine, county seat of Kennebec County, and center of population for Maine. The city's population was 19,136 at the 2010 census, making it the third-smallest state capital after Montpelier, Vermont and Pierre, South Dakota...

, under the name of "Maine Vocational Technical Institute" for returning World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 veterans. An increasing enrollment and the rapid growth of various technologies necessitated more comprehensive facilities. During the summer of 1952, the Institute was moved to the site of the former Fort Preble
Fort Preble
Fort Preble is a military fort in South Portland, Maine, United States. It is now on the campus of Southern Maine Community College.Henry A. S. Dearborn built this second-system fortification as an "embargo fort" in 1808 and named it in honor of Commodore Edward Preble...

 in South Portland, where it assumed the name of Southern Maine Vocational Institute. It is located close to Portland, the largest city in Maine, on a beautiful site overlooking Casco Bay
Casco Bay
Casco Bay is an inlet of the Gulf of Maine on the southern coast of Maine, New England, United States. Its easternmost approach is Cape Small and its westernmost approach is Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth...


Over the years, this institution evolved from a solitary technical institute into an accredited college. In the fall of 1968, the first associate of applied science degree students were enrolled, and in May 1970 the institution saw its first associate degree graduates. The then Southern Maine Vocational Institute sought accreditation by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Later this accreditation was transferred to the Associations Commission on Technical and Career Institutions when that commission was established. In 1985, the Maine legislature approved L.D. 2174, An Act to Establish the Maine Vocational Technical Institute System. This act formally grouped the then six institutions, once governed individually by the State Board of Education, into one organization under a central office structure governed by a Board of Trustees (BOT).

On June 22, 1989 the Maine legislature passed An Act to Enhance the Status of Vocational Technical Education in Maine. This act changed the name of the Maine Vocational Technical Institute System to the Maine Technical College System (MTCS) with similar name changes at each of the college within the system. At this time Southern Maine Vocation Technical Institute became SMTC.

In October 1998, the President of the MTCS and the Chancellor of the University of Maine System
University of Maine System
The University of Maine System is a network of public universities in Maine. Created in 1968 by the Maine State Legislature, the University of Maine System consists of seven universities, each with a distinct mission and regional character...

 (UMS) worked together to bridge a gap in the higher education system structures in the state when they formed the Community College Partnership. This partnership laid the groundwork for development of community college offerings through the technical colleges that resulted in planned transferable degrees to the UMS campuses. Subsequently, the MTCS/BOT approved the awarding of associate of arts degrees in General or Liberal Studies at the technical colleges in December 1998. Southern Maine Community College revised its Mission Statement to embrace this enhanced educational position in May 1999. The school reports its educational mission statement is: "Southern Maine Community College empowers its students to respond to a changing world and enhances economic development in Southern Maine by providing a variety of educational opportunities and partnerships."

Over the years, the institutional focus moved from one predominantly centered on training to one committed to a broad range of academic curricula with an emphasis on lifelong learning. SMCC now offers diverse programs offering a variety of certificate, diploma, and degree options.
The average age of the student body is 26.

History of Fort Preble

During the Revolutionary War, a temporary fortification known as Fort Hancock was built on a point of land on the eastern shore of South Portland, Maine. In 1808, under direction of Henry A. S. Dearborn, Fort Hancock was expanded to enforce a trade embargo that President Thomas Jefferson enacted against Great Britain. The newly expanded fort, now called Fort Preble, was named after Commodore Edward Preble.

Established as a Second System Fort in 1808 by Henry A. S. Dearborn to defend Portland Harbor, and named in honor of Commodore Edward Preble. Modifications to upgrade it to a Third System Fort were started but never reached completion. It received continued use through the U.S. Civil War, the Spanish American War, World War I and World War II. Four Endicott Period batteries were installed after the Spanish American War. An additional battery was constructed during World War II. On July 31, 1947 it was deactivated and declared surplus in 1950.

Execution at Fort Preble

On July 15, 1863, Billy Laird, a private in the 17th Maine Regiment, was executed by firing squad at Fort Preble after being charged with desertion
In military terminology, desertion is the abandonment of a "duty" or post without permission and is done with the intention of not returning...

. President Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

Clemency means the forgiveness of a crime or the cancellation of the penalty associated with it. It is a general concept that encompasses several related procedures: pardoning, commutation, remission and reprieves...

ed Laird but the telegraph message never got through due to the fact the telegraph wires in New York City which relayed the message from Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 to Maine were cut during the July 1863 draft riots. Laird was the only Maine soldier in the Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 to be executed for desertion.

Fire at Fort Preble

On January 29, 2002, a three-alarm fire at Southern Maine Technical College caused more than $1 million in damage, destroying more than 100 computers and shut down the school for most of the day. The fire was contained to a historic two-story classroom building that housed many of the college's technology programs known as the Preble building. One firefighter was treated for exhaustion. With power to the campus shut off, classes were canceled until 4 p.m. The fire was accidental, investigators said.
Investigators from the state Fire Marshal's Office reported that the most likely cause of the fire was paper materials that had been stored too close to a steam-heating register in the building's basement causing the paper to dry out and catch fire. Pictures of the fire can be found in the Computer Technology building in Howard Burpee's room.


The campus sits on a 80 acres (32.4 ha) site overlooking Casco Bay three miles from downtown Portland
Portland, Maine
Portland is the largest city in Maine and is the county seat of Cumberland County. The 2010 city population was 66,194, growing 3 percent since the census of 2000...

. The college is complete with athletic facilities, which include baseball and soccer fields, and a full sized gymnasium. The campus includes forty buildings with residence halls and dining accommodations. The campus has many interesting features such as a brand new pier built by the State of Maine for research purposes and access to Willard Beach, the only beach in South Portland. The campus is also historically significant as the campus was once home to the military installment, Fort Preble
Fort Preble
Fort Preble is a military fort in South Portland, Maine, United States. It is now on the campus of Southern Maine Community College.Henry A. S. Dearborn built this second-system fortification as an "embargo fort" in 1808 and named it in honor of Commodore Edward Preble...

, and old bunkers are still on the campus. Southern Maine Community College is also home to a lighthouse, as Spring Point Ledge Light
Spring Point Ledge Light
-External links:*...

 is situated right in Portland Harbor. Southern Maine Community College's dormitory capacity can house up to 400 students.

Spring Point Shoreway

The Southern Maine Community College campus is situated within the Spring Point Shoreway. This shoreway comprises 21 acres (84,984.1 m²), and includes Willard Beach, Fort Preble
Fort Preble
Fort Preble is a military fort in South Portland, Maine, United States. It is now on the campus of Southern Maine Community College.Henry A. S. Dearborn built this second-system fortification as an "embargo fort" in 1808 and named it in honor of Commodore Edward Preble...

, the Spring Point Ledge Light
Spring Point Ledge Light
-External links:*...

, the Old Settler’s Cemetery, and runs through the Shoreway Arboretum. The shoreway also includes the building which once housed the Portland Harbor Museum (now merged with the Maine Maritime Museum).

Peter A. McKernan Hospitality Center

Currently, known as the Peter A. McKernan Hospitality Center, this historical non-combative building served as a double officer’s quarters during the Revolutionary War through World War II. In 1993, the center was renovated into a conference and lodging facility, utilized for students who are attending SMCC in the Culinary Arts and Lodging and Restaurant Management programs. The center overlooks the abundant history of Fort Preble and Portland Harbor.
For more information on hotel accommodations and reservations, or to book your next business or social event, call 207-741-5798.


Typically students commute to SMCC but dorms are offered. Spring Point dorm, also known as New Residence Hall, and Surf Site are the two dorms that accommodate roughly 600 students a semester. Spring Point has four floors with two Resident Advisors on each floor and the Resident Director on the first floor. There is a common study rooms in Spring Point dorm on floors 2-4. Two students are normally assigned to a room with the exception of a few single triple suites. All rooms have a bathroom attaching them. All students pay a student activity fee which helps support different events each night in the dorms. The typical events are Movie nights, concerts, comedians, henna tattoos, paiper mache, and pizza parties. Study halls are offered almost every week to help ensure students success. Returning applicants will be assigned on a first come, first served basis based on the date the Housing Office receives the completed housing application packet until the 30% of spaces allotted to returning students are filled. Because there is so much competition for these spaces, students must have a clear disciplinary record, both conduct and residence hall violations,with the College and a minimum of a 2.5 cumulative GPA at the time their application is submitted.


The campus has more than doubled their enrollment to 6,000 students, since 2002.
On October 17, 2003 University of Southern Maine President Richard Pattenaude
Richard Pattenaude
Richard Pattenaude is currently Chancellor of the University of Maine System, and assumed that post on July 1, 2007. For the sixteen years prior, he was president of the University of Southern Maine....

 and Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) President James Ortiz signed an agreement that guarantees admission at USM to SMCC students with associate’s degrees. The ceremony, held at SMCC’s McKernan Center, made official the first of several identical agreements that USM intends to form with York County (YCCC) and Central Maine Community Colleges (CMCC). Under the agreement, those who transfer from SMCC enter USM as juniors and may register concurrently with matriculated upperclassmen.

Shoreway Arboretum

The Southern Maine Community College campus also has an established arboretum which was created and is maintained by the college, named the Shoreway Arboretum. The arboretum runs along the shoreline of Willard Beach and visitors can enjoy panoramic views of Portland Harbor and islands off the coast. The arboretum contains many kinds of native salt-tolerant trees and shrubs, including a good specimen of Swiss Stone Pine (Pinus cembra)
Swiss Pine
The Swiss Pine or Arolla Pine, Pinus cembra, is a species of pine tree that occurs in the Alps and Carpathian Mountains of central Europe, in Poland , Switzerland, France, Italy, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Ukraine and Romania. It typically grows at to altitude. It often reaches the...



Southern Maine Community College offers a handful of athletics. For both men and woman's sports they have basketball, baseball, soccer, and baseball for men and softball for women. There is a fitness center and a weight room located in the Hub

Old Settlers Cemetery

Also in the college's grounds is the Old Settlers Cemetery, which is South Portland's oldest landmark. It was established in 1658.
It is also known as the Thrasher Cemetery.


SMCC also offers "Distance Learning", or "Distance Education"- online classes. This offers students from all over the state to take classes online with SMCC.

External links

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