ROCKLAND – In honor of the Month of Career and Technical Education (CTE), Maine State Education Commissioner Pender Makin visited the Mid-Coast School of Technology on February 17, 2022 to emphasize the importance of career and technical education in providing high-quality career paths. highlight a wide range of program offerings for students and note the powerful teaching and learning in CTE schools.
Tuition in Maine CTE schools increased by 9.4 percent between the 2018-2019 and 2021-2022 school years, with more than 9,100 students now in 27 Maine schools, according to the Maine Department of Education, in a press release.
While in the Mid-Coast, Commissioner Mackin met with faculty and students, visited several classrooms to see the wide range of programs offered at the school, and gained experience along with students. She has worked with students and faculty enrolled in programs related to automatic collisions, bakery and confectionery, welding, carpentry, design technology, marine technology, machine tool, outdoor management, EMT, certified assistant and medical assistants.
This academic year the Mid-Coast had the highest number of students of all time and serves students from 21 cities, according to the Department of Health. The school has 18 high school programs as well as adult teaching and college courses taught on site.
“It’s impressive to feel the energy, interaction and excitement of students here in the Mid Coast, and the passion that these faculty, who are leaders in their fields, bring to help students succeed both in class and beyond” said Education Commissioner Makin. “Everyone has a way to learn, and everyone has a path to success, and we want students and families to know that careers and technical education are a vital and vibrant path for young people. In schools such as the Mid-Coast, students use their hands and mind to gain knowledge and skills in everything from technology and culinary arts to computer design and skilled professions, and learn to collaborate with others, be self-directed, think critically , and find joy in what they do. And they can leave here, often with some level of certificate or credit that gives them such a big head start in their career or college. ”
During her meetings with students, many of them talked about how they had to overcome the stigma that still exists around career and technical education, and how they want more people to know about CTE as an option. They highlighted the opportunities they have to achieve real goals, gain experience in their fields, a safe space to make mistakes and learn from them, and learn life skills.
Mid-Coast School of Technology director Bobby Ditgen said students “teach skills, but also how to have confidence and become leaders”.