UNITY, Maine — Unity College is on the move, according to school officials who touted the creation of new faculty and staff positions and the signing of a transfer agreement with York County Community College, among other changes.
The changes are keeping the college on track to be the “best environmental college we can be,” Unity College spokesperson Mark Tardif said recently. “It’s putting us in a position to gain a greater position nationally, so we may weigh in on the important environmental issues of our time.”
The small, environment-focused college, which next year will celebrate its 50th anniversary, is set to formalize an agreement for easy transfer of college credits for southern Maine community college students who have completed an associate degree in criminal justice. The students, who will become Unity College juniors, will pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in conservation law enforcement.
Stacy Chilicki, director of marketing and public relations at York County Community College, said there are many students who have indicated they would like to make the transfer.
“It’s very cool,” she said of the new agreement. “We’re excited to be partnered with Unity. It’s a great school.”
Tardif said that other good news for Unity College involves the creation of new positions, including a director for the school’s new Half Moon Field Station. The 20-acre plot in Thorndike, which formerly was an ornamental horticulture facility known as Half Moon Gardens, will be used as a teaching, research and demonstration center, according to Doug Fox, who teaches sustainable agriculture at the school.
“This program will present increased research opportunities for our students in sustainable agriculture,” he said, adding that ideas include hydroponics. “I will be studying how to grow food in the winter, using greenhouses that are there.”
The new director, Mary Saunders Bulan, has expertise in sustainable farming, adding value to crops and more, Tardif said. The station officially will open in the fall, he said.
Tardif said that the school last weekend hosted nearly 100 admitted students for a new-student weekend, the largest number of participants for the event in the college’s history. The school also is hiring a new assistant director of admissions, who will have a focus on international recruiting, especially in Europe.
“We are not a primarily regional entity anymore,” Tardif said. “We’re far beyond that.”