July 6, 2021 (Bath, ME) - Six students enrolled in Morse High School’s JMG program have earned college credit at Thomas College in Waterville through a pilot course in personal finance.

JMG, which stands for “Jobs for Maine’s Graduates” but is more commonly known by its acronym, has 140 programs across Maine which partner with public education and private businesses to ensure that all Maine students graduate, attain post-secondary credentials, and pursue meaningful careers. JMG’s programming is carried out by embedded school specialists like Maria Morris, who has been teaching at Morse since 2008.

“Historically, a small number of JMG students from around the state would attend Thomas College for two weeks in the summer to complete this course,” Morris said. “Last year, JMG and Thomas College partnered to develop a curriculum for JMG Specialists to deliver right in the classroom, and we piloted the program this year.” 

The semester-long course taught students how to build a budget based on a chosen career. Students mock purchased a car and a house, created a meal plan, and calculated a food budget. They learned about stocks, investing for retirement with 401K and IRA accounts, and the different types of insurance. They also calculated estimates for utility fees like heat, electricity, phone, water and sewer.

Their final product – a budget portfolio – was submitted to Thomas College for the chance to earn three college credits in personal finance. In total, 24 JMG students from around the state completed the program, including six MHS students: Kylie Grendell (Sr), Jacob Mowry (Sr), Nichelle Moody (Sr), Julia Baker (Sr), Taiven True (Sr), and Devon Rosano (Jr).  

“I'm grateful for the partnership between Thomas College and JMG that offers this opportunity for interested JMG juniors and seniors to earn college credits,” Morris said. “I’m proud of this group of JMG students from Morse High School for seizing the opportunity and for persisting through a rigorous curriculum to produce college level work. They are now three credits closer to achieving their career goals."