The Association was originally founded in 1965 as Maine Adult Educators Association, and was renamed in 1967, Maine Association for Public School Adult Education (MAPSAE). In 1989, the current name was adopted to include members beyond the public school-based programs. MAEA has a distinguished record of advocacy and leadership for adult education in Maine, and of service to its members.
MAEA is Maine’s organization for professional adult educators and coordinates closely with the Maine Department of Education and the University of Maine and Maine Community College systems. MAEA has a history of strong collaboration with the University of Maine System, the Maine Community College System, the University of Southern Maine’s Adult Education Masters Degree Program, Maine Career Centers, Maine Centers for Women Work and Community, the New England Literacy Resource Center/World Education, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Literacy Volunteers of Maine.
2004 – Adult education seen as key strategy by Compact for Higher Education
2004 – MAEA and Literacy Volunteers secure Betterment grant for development of services in Washington & Aroostook counties
2004 – Lumina Foundation grant secured by MDOE and Maine Development Foundation for college transitions
2006 – College Transition funding received from the legislature to launch the first state pilots to add to the Nellie
2007 – Governor Baldacci proposed an acceleration of College Transition program and over 20 sites began operating in the fall.
2007 – MAEA undertook a strategic planning process highlighting the need for a statewide identity and greater marketing efforts.
2008 – With the assistance of Encompass Marketing, MAEA developed a marketing plan and committed to undertaking the development of a web portal to provide a state-of-the-art web presence for Maine’s adult education programs. Advocacy Grant received from Nellie Mae Educational Foundation for training and public awareness. This grant was repeated in 2009 and 2010.
2009 – The web portal was launched at a State House ceremony with the participation of Governor John Baldacci. Support was provided by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, the Betterment Fund and Bangor Savings Bank as well as from local programs.
2009 – Web Portal received top honors at TechMaine annual dinner.
2009 – Maine College Transitions recognized by FAMEMaine as a critical link in preparing Maine people for college; MOU’s signed with Maine Community College System, and University of Maine System; and presentations given at regional and national meetings.
2010 – Web Portal received national recognition at the LERN Conference in Chicago.
2011 – Gail Senese of Freeport, former co-director in Portland and past-president of MAEA, was named State Director of Maine Adult Education.
2013 – Grants for the upgrade of the portal were received from the Betterment Fund and the Davis Family Foundation. Maine College Transitions funding was substantially increased by the legislature and the LePage administration. HiSET was chosen as the new High School Equivalency exam.
2014 – Shirley Wright is hired as the new Executive Director of the Maine Adult Education Association, replacing Cathy Newell who retired.
2019 – Web Portal was redesigned and MAEA has devoted more time to online marketing of programs. This was made possible by grants from the Betterment Fund and the Davis Family Fund.
2020 – Maine Adult Education Association received a grant from the Bingham Fund to help promote correct counting for the 2020 census.