Family Studies Certificate

This five-course, 15-credit certificate program in Family Studies is designed to give students introductory level core curriculum credits with a focus on parenting and strengthening families. This curriculum helps students assume the role of change agents for their children, families, and communities as well as prepares them for additional coursework that transfers into future degree programs. This certificate is part of a larger innovative post-secondary program, Family Futures Downeast (FFD) (External Site) for Washington County parents.  The program is dedicated to assisting families to break the cycle of poverty through whole-family education.  Parents with children apply for free to this cohort program that has been collaboratively designed with an emphasis on removing barriers that make it difficult for parents to transition into college and find success. 

Members of University of Maine at Machias (UMaine Machias), Washington County Community College, and the Community Caring Collaborative developed curriculum and support structures that allow parents to achieve in a post-secondary setting while gaining skills and knowledge in order to change outcomes for themselves and their children. This structure provides a rich and rewarding educational experience in which students receive all possible opportunities to flourish. Individual students receive academic, financial, and social supports for navigating the college setting, which for many will be new and challenging terrain.

How to Apply

Since 2016, a cohort of 20-32 families are enrolled at either the University of Maine at Machias or Washington County Community College. A cohort program groups students into the same program with the same classes in order to make sure the necessary supports are available for each family. As this program is different from a traditional student applying to college, prospective families must apply to the program through FFD on the Family Futures Downeast website (External Site).

Why UMaine Machias?

Across our campus faculty, staff, and administration support education as a way to break the cycle of poverty for families. FFD students are supported in completing this certificate program learning essential life skills and knowledge to either seek gainful employment or as many students do, successfully continue on to an Associate’s or Bachelor’s program of study in any major.

mother in cap and gown and two children walking away from the camera together