Mar 01, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Support Services

Academic Assessment

The Office of Academic Assessment coordinates the administration of various testing programs, such as USM’s Mathematics Placement Program (e.g., Accuplacer Math Tests) for incoming and transfer students, in addition to certification and national tests for graduating students (e.g., Miller Analogies Test, GRE Subject Tests, LSAT, and others). Students are encouraged to contact the Office-Testing Room at 240 Luther Bonney Hall for testing information, or visit our Website for test registration and schedules at

The Office of Academic Assessment also conducts institutional assessment studies, administers student surveys, assists departments in evaluating courses and programs, develops tests and assessment instruments, and provides technical support to the faculty for their tenure and promotion. Office location: 45 Exeter Street.


Advising offers USM students a student-focused, integrated approach to academic advising and early career exploration in order to support the development and achievement of students’ educational and career goals. Advising is the home to all professional academic advisors who begin building relationships with students before they start at the University through individual Advising & Course Selection meetings which serve as an academic orientation. After this, students are assigned a professional academic advisor and a faculty advisor within their respective major departments. Professional and faculty advisors work in partnership to support and encourage a student’s success throughout their academic career. Professional academic advisors act as the primary advisor until students reach junior standing at which time the faculty advisor becomes the primary advisor. Both advisors remain important resources for students during their entire tenure at the University and students are encouraged to maintain close contact with both advisors.

Students who have not declared a major are provided with a professional academic advisor. Students are assisted in the development of educational and early career goals as well as the selection of an appropriate major. Students should be ready to declare prior to reaching junior standing at the University. Once students declare their major they will also be assigned a faculty advisor in their major department.

Students admitted conditionally are also provided with a professional academic advisor. Our focus is academic success and support for all participants in the conditional admission program and we offer several key elements to help students succeed. These include a developmental approach to advising, courses to strengthen academic performance, and carefully selected course schedules. Students admitted conditionally will have a personalized academic support plan. Upon completion of the requirements of the academic support plan, students are transitioned from conditional status and are also assigned a faculty advisor in their major department.

Professional academic advisors are assigned to students who have not been admitted to the institution and are taking courses on a space-available basis.

Learn more about Advising by visiting our website, on campus, or via phone in 137 Luther Bonney Hall on the Portland campus (207-780-4040), 119 Bailey Hall on the Gorham campus (207-780-5652), and 119 Lewiston-Auburn Campus in Lewiston (207-753-6500).

Career & Employment Hub

The USM Career & Employment Hub helps students and alumni connect to their future by offering a variety of services such as career exploration, finding the right internship, polishing a resume, preparing for job interviews, and more. The Career Hub is focused on delivering career education and cultivating professional development skills. They do this by providing the knowledge and experiences necessary for a successful career, including:

  • Exploring and connecting majors to careers

  • Administering and interpreting career assessments

  • Crafting a dynamic cover letter and resume

  • Job and internship search strategies

  • Developing networking and interview skills

  • Cultivating professional skills

  • Coaching during career transitions

Services are available in person, online, and through video conferencing. Learn more about the Hub’s services or book an appointment today!

Center for Technology Enhanced Learning (CTEL)

The Center for Technology-Enhanced Learning (CTEL) offers resources to USM faculty and staff, including learning and instructional design support and faculty development. With the goal of expanding higher education opportunities for the people of Maine and beyond, CTEL focuses its efforts on supporting courses and academic programs that attract new audiences to USM, such as, place-bound or working adults. CTEL works closely with other USM units including the Glickman Library, ITMS, Learning Commons, and the Center for Collaboration and Development. CTEL delivers year-round programming using various workshop formats. CTEL also offers the following grant programs: CTEL Community of Practice grants, CTEL Technology-Enhanced Learning grants, and CTEL Learning Innovation Grants. Contact CTEL by phone: (207) 780-4540, email: or online:

Computing Services

The Information Technology department provides a variety of technology support services to students, faculty, and staff at the University.

Computer labs for general student use are located on the Gorham, Lewiston-Auburn, and Portland campuses and in the University Libraries. The computer labs have Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh computer systems, and academic software applications. Black and white or color printing is available for a nominal fee using the USM Campus Card. Computer classrooms are available on all three campuses for class activity periods.

Resident students are provided an Internet connection in each room as part of their room package. The USM IT Help Desk, located on the 3rd floor of the Glickman Library, Portland, assists all faculty, staff, and students with computer problems, including some common University login, e-mail, and Internet problems. Assistance can be requested by phone at 780-4029, by e-mail at, or online at

For more information about any of the services offered by Computing Services, please visit us on the web at

Disability Services Center

The Disability Services Center (DSC) provides a wide range of services to students with attentional, learning, physical, psychological, sensory or other health-related disabilities. Students with disabilities who want to learn about our services and request accommodations are encouraged to contact the DSC to schedule an initial appointment. Visit the DSC website to learn more about requesting academic or housing accommodations.

Disability Services Center (DSC)
242 Luther Bonney Hall, Portland
780-4706, 780-5646 (TTY)
fax: 780-4403

Instructional Technology and Media Services

The Instructional Technology and Media Services (ITMS) Department provides support for classroom and instructional technology for the academic programs of the University. This support includes group or individual training sessions on instructional applications and use of technology in Portland, Gorham, or Lewiston-Auburn.

Other services include the delivery and maintenance of classroom equipment on all three campuses, equipment loaning, equipment installation, organizing and running events in Hannaford Hall and around campus. Please visit the ITMS USM Web site ( for more information. ITMS staff are available by calling (207) 780-4280 or visiting one of our offices.

Portland: 141 Luther Bonney Hall or Gorham: 1 Bailey Hall

Learning Resources and Academic Assistance: The Learning Commons

The Learning Commons is an open space designed to foster collaborative and active learning, filled with movable tables, rolling whiteboards, and plush furniture. In addition to subject-based tutoring, we offer help with time-management and study skills, technology assistance, and research guidance, as well as reservable group study spaces and access to community computers. While physically located in Bailey Hall Library in Gorham, the Glickman Library in Portland, and the Library at Lewiston-Auburn Campus, many of our services (including tutoring!) are also available online.

Tutoring at USM

The tutoring service at The Learning Commons is a peer support service, meaning that all of our tutors are current USM students who have completed a nationally-accredited tutor training program. We have over 60 tutors who are able to provide assistance in numerous subject areas, including Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Accounting, and Finance. Appointments are available in Gorham, Portland, Lewiston-Auburn, and online.

USM students can use the self-service online calendars to easily view available appointments and schedule a time with a tutor (the Tutoring: Subject-based Assistance and Tutoring: Writing Assistance links can be found in the MyUSM Portal under the USM Quick Links tab, as well as on the right-hand side of the USM Brightspace landing page).

Writing Assistance at USM

Writing works best when it’s a collaborative process. All of our Writing Assistants are current USM students who have been trained to help at any stage of the writing process, from generating ideas at the very beginning to providing a reader’s perspective on the final draft.

Similar to tutoring, Writing Assistance is available on all three campuses and online.

Any courses for which tutoring is offered are listed on the site, and updated each semester.

This video walks students through the process of scheduling an online appointment.

Technology and Research Assistance

The Learning Commons offers instruction on many technologies used at USM, including Microsoft Office programs, Google applications, software used in online courses, and other tools related to student academic needs.

College-level research involves finding appropriate peer-reviewed sources. Our Librarians and tutorials can help. All USM students can work with any Research Librarian in Portland, Gorham, or Lewiston-Auburn. Walk in or schedule an appointment with a Librarian to help you save time with your research assignments. 

Students can also meet with a Learning Commons Navigator at the Portland campus location. A Learning Commons Navigator is a current USM student trained in guiding peers through the initial steps of conducting academic research.

Academic Success Strategies and Resources

We have an entire website dedicated to becoming an “AGILE learner” (Academic Gains through Improved Learning Effectiveness), which does a deep dive into how learning works, along with specific strategies such as how to read actively, take effective notes, and study in groups. For a brief snapshot of AGILE programs, services, and resources designed to help USM students achieve their academic goals, visit the “Academic Support Resources” page.

Additionally, we have several modules created to help students with effective learning strategies, using technology, and learning through Zoom. They live within USM’s Brightspace landing page and are consolidated under one umbrella called “Succeeding as a Remote Learner”. Every Brightspace class page also has a direct link to the AGILE “Academic Support Resources” page located within the “Course Resources” tab.

Students can also increase their academic skills by scheduling an appointment with a Peer Academic Coach.

Group Study Rooms

There are a number of group study rooms within the USM Libraries. All USM students can use any of these privately enclosed spaces to study in groups or to work collaboratively on projects.

To view or reserve one of these spaces, please visit Group Study Rooms.

For more information, call (207)780-4228.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

The Office for Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) provides opportunities for students to earn credit for college-level learning acquired outside of a traditional academic environment. Options to earn academic credit include standardized exams, credential review, and academic portfolios.  The awarding of PLA credit is based on student demonstration and documentation of college-level learning, not on experience or positions held. Prior learning options are not eligible for Federal Financial Aid.  

For more information, please visit our website or contact the PLA Office at or 207-780-4663.


The PLA Office posts credit to student transcripts for documented passing scores for several different standardized exam programs including: 

Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), CLEP, DSST, UExcel, Challenge exams designed by USM faculty, BYU FLATS, NYU, ACTFL OPI, HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi) Chinese Proficiency Test, American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI)

Credential Review

Credentials and certifications issued by outside agencies may be eligible for college credit if they include verifiable college-level learning.

Academic Portfolio Assessment

Academic Portfolios require the students to engage in a self-reflective writing process, connecting their learning from work or life experience to specific departmental or university outcomes.

Military Credits

Official military transcripts are reviewed by USM’s Veterans Services Coordinator. Please see below for more information.

NOTE: USM’s Office for Prior Learning Assessment reserves the right to revise, amend, or change items set forth in our policies, procedures, and equivalencies at any time.

University Libraries: Centers of Learning, Research, and Technology

The University Libraries provide a full range of resources and services in person and virtually. The Libraries are open seven days per week and are conveniently located on each of USM’s three campuses (Gorham, Portland, Lewiston-Auburn). The Libraries offer a range of comfortable spaces for studying, group work and assistance. Find out more at

Learning Commons at Glickman Library (2nd Floor) and Gorham Library offer research and writing help, learning assistance, group study rooms and computers and technology support. Similar services are offered at the Lewiston-Auburn Library. Find out more at

Student Services include, but are not limited to:

  • Online Services, Research Help and Ask-a-Librarian assistance
  • Interlibrary Loan (ILLiad) and Textbooks on Reserve
  • Student Computers including full wireless access, printing and scanning
  • Learning Support including AGILE and tutoring
  • Course Reserves and eReserves
  • Group Study Rooms

Collections and Resources

  • Over 300 library databases
  • Over 36,000 electronic journals via our databases with most articles available in full text
  • URSUS Catalog access to 423,000 books supplemented by more than 1.5 million print titles held in the libraries of the other campuses of the University of Maine System, the Maine State Library and the Bangor Public Library with two or three day intercampus delivery
  • E-Books, audio books and streaming video
  • USM Digital Commons

Special Collections consists of a rare books and manuscripts collection, the University Archives and the Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine. 

Franco American Collection at the Lewiston-Auburn Campus preserves and promotes the culture and heritage of Maine’s Franco-American population. It holds a wide range of archive and research materials, and it sponsors a variety of events that promote the history and culture of Franco-Americans. 

Veterans’ Services

USM’s Veterans Services is an on-campus resource for veterans, servicemembers, and their families. Transitioning from military to the classroom can be challenging and so can navigating the U.S. government benefits known as the GI Bill®. USM Veterans Services is here to help.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at

Military Credits - Served in the military? Our Veterans Services team can review your military transcript to see if college credit is available based on your knowledge and experience.

Contact us at (207) 780-5232 or Find out more at