WATERVILLE — Thomas College is continuing to expand on tuition agreements with large Maine employers by announcing recently that it has formed a partnership with the city of Portland that offers discounts to municipal workers for online professional and graduate programs.

The discounted tuition rate is offered to any of the 1,400 city workers looking to advance their education or professional development. The college will offer the first course for free and a 10% reduction on any subsequent course, according to the school’s senior director of graduate and professional studies, Mikaela Ziobro.

“Depending on the number of courses required for their degree, students will receive a savings of 18% to 20% for their entire program,” Ziobro said.

The regular tuition cost to obtain an online graduate degree ranges from $17,200 to $22,800.

She said the partnership also gives the Waterville-based college an opportunity to expand its reach into southern Maine.

The college has previously announced similar agreements with Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan, the Sappi mill and Hannaford supermarket.

Ziobro said the idea of partnering with Portland started with a graduate recruiter who had a conversation several months ago with a police officer in that city about the the college’s criminology program.

“When presented with the idea of an employer partnership agreement for all the police department, the city was interested in providing the educational benefit to all city employees,” Ziobro said.

“We’re so happy about the benefits that this partnership with Thomas College brings to city of Portland employees,” interim City Manager Danielle West said in a statement. “We value continuing education and ongoing professional development opportunities for our dedicated public servants, and this partnership helps further that goal.”

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