Family Futures Downeast

Family Futures Downeast (FFD) is a one-year program that creates access to post-secondary and
employment opportunities for parents with young children in Washington County. FFD was
designed using a two-generational approach that combines post-secondary education and workforce
development with high-quality early education for FFD children.

FFD removes economic, cultural, and logistical barriers that make going to college
difficult for many parents. Parents will gain the confidence and ability to pursue educational and 
career goals, just as their children will benefit from outstanding, high-quality early education at 
campus-based centers. 

This Free program is the equivalent of five college courses.

Support services are offered for all who enroll in the program such as childcare, transportation, meals, and other individualized supports designed for each student as needed. The core courses in FFD are designed to help students move forward into degree programs of their choice offered at both UMM and WCCC. In addition, all FFD students enjoy and have access to all extra-curricular activities and services on the campus to which they have applied.

Who is Eligible?

Eligible candidates:

  • Parent/s with children aged 6 weeks to 8 years
  • Parent/s who have earned their high school diploma or equivalency
  • Families must be low-income, eligible for Pell grants and other financial aid

In addition, Parents should be motivated to increase their education, find employment, be active in their child’s education, and possess a willingness to share income, employment, and other personal information across time for program evaluation purposes.

What classes will I take?


College Readiness/WorkReady training through AETC. Traditional summer Bridge Math or English as needed.


Personal Growth: Parenting perspectives*

WCCC PSY 105 plus FYE 100 at WCCC
PSY 102 (1st year seminar) at UMM

Working within the course objectives for both of these courses, these courses will explore parents’ connection to self and others. Topics of importance include: healthy communication, conflict resolution, self-care, and goal setting. Guest speakers may cover material on culture, domestic violence, and career aspirations. These courses will provide students the opportunity to examine their life-space; to envision alternative possibilities in their personal and professional growth; and to foster the development of creative changes toward their future life-career.

(* FYE 100 is a one-credit course that will accompany PSY 105 at WCCC, making FFD at WCCC a 16-credit program.)

Public Speaking: Family Communication and Advocacy

ENG 107 at WCCC
SPE 104 at UMM

The primary goals of this Special Topics in Speech class are to help students become better communicators and effective listeners, as well as advocates for their family’s needs. This course will help students improve their family’s communication and understand and critically evaluate what makes some people more effective speakers. Students will investigate and put into practice the various styles and methods of communicating publicly, from notes, ex tempore, memorized, and reading aloud. Students will learn the skills relevant to good speech communication: conceptualization, organization, techniques of generating interest, the use of audio-visual aids, audience inclusion and involvement, and overcoming performance apprehension.



Composition: Topics in Family Studies

ENG 101 at UMM and WCCC

This Special Topics in English course is designed to help students develop the skills for effective college writing. Students learn the strategies to build effective paragraphs and essays, with clear, well-supported points. Additionally, students hone their research skills as they learn to write in relationship to other texts. Reading and grammatical skills are emphasized. Students will be encouraged to explore topics in their writing that relate to child and family well-being. Ultimately, students will learn to build solid prose that will be the foundation of their academic career.

Parenting Children and Adolescents

PSY 195 at WCCC

Supporting parents in the discovery of the child’s development from pre-natal to adolescent explosions, Parenting Children and Adolescents will give parents tools to be knowledgeable about appropriate actions and reactions in all stages of their child’s lives. This course will use strengths-based approaches to helping parents expand on what they are already doing well in helping them achieve their goals for supporting and interacting with their children.



Family Resource Management

MAT 100 at UMM

Family Resource Management will offer parents tools to identify, access and utilize community and financial resources that are available for families and children. The course will focus on all aspects of money management. 

How do I enroll?

For more information or to enroll, contact Jen Peters at Sunrise County Economic Council, 207-255-0983 ext 12 or email

Valerie Lawson,
May 12, 2016, 1:43 PM
Valerie Lawson,
May 12, 2016, 1:43 PM