Book icon Maine Education Research


The Mitchell Institute works with partner organizations to conduct research that advances our mission. The goal of the Mitchell Institute’s Maine education research is to make an impact beyond our Scholars and Alumni, and to advocate for all Maine students. Recent research partners include Educate Maine, Great Schools Partnership, the MELMAC Education Foundation, the Maine Department of Education, and University of Southern Maine.

Maine College Enrollment Data Project

In partnership with the Maine Department of Education and the National Student Clearinghouse, the Mitchell Institute distributes detailed reports on recent graduates’ college enrollment trends to all Maine public high schools. We also aggregate these data into state and regional estimates to provide context and inform policymakers and the public about these trends.

Maine Education Indicators

Since 2013, we have helped to collect and calculate data for Educate Maine’s annual Indicators report. In earlier years, we collaborated on indicators research with the Maine Compact for Higher Education, one of Educate Maine’s precursor organizations. The latest example of that project is Maine’s Higher Education Attainment Goal: Exceeding the New England Average by 2020–Indicators of Progress, from October 2011.

Early College

The Mitchell Institute has conducted several studies of early college course-taking opportunities for Maine high school students. Our report from January 2008, Early College in Maine: Expanding Opportunities, summarizes student outcomes from the Access College Early program, which was supported by the National Governor’s Association from 2005 to 2007. An extended report, with more detail on models and implementation, is also available.

Other Education Research

The Mitchell Institute conducts a variety of other Maine education research. Recent examples include:

In 2012, we studied the college enrollment patterns of participants in the Maine College Transitions adult education program. Of the first 5,000 MCT participants, just over one-half enrolled in college, one-half remained continuously enrolled, and 13% completed a postsecondary certificate or degree within the five year study period.

In 2010, the Maine Community Foundation commissioned a white paper about higher education policy issues, An Educated Workforce for a 21st Century Economy: Public Policy Opportunities for Higher Education in Maine, which served as a framework for a gubernatorial candidates’ debate.