Middle School Career and Technical Education: New Grant Information and Resources

The Career and Technical Education (CTE) Team recently released information regarding Pilot C for implementing Middle School CTE programs. Middle School CTE provides an opportunity for Maine middle school students to experience hands on learning, workplace skills, and career exploration. CTE empowers students to explore interests and discover activities that are inspiring, experience potential career pathways, and gives them an awareness of the many options that are available.

In June of 2017, the legislature enacted law to expand CTE opportunities by requiring Maine schools to provide access to developmentally appropriate CTE for middle school students (grades 6-8). Along with this legislation, there was an opportunity for CTE schools to apply for grant funding to pilot a Middle School CTE program. In the fall of 2019, Maine Department of Education (DOE) opened the first round (Pilot A) of grants and 14 CTE schools applied and received funding. The second round (Pilot B) application had 14 grantees as well, and now Pilot C is available.

The MS-CTE Pilot C Grant applications are available and must be submitted to the MDOE by December 15, 2020. The grant must be expended or encumbered by June 30, 2021. Funds may be used in school year 20-21 and/or during school year 21-22 with proper obligation. (Obligation means amount representing orders placed, contracts awarded, services received, and similar transactions during an accounting period that will require payment during the same, or a future, period.) Through the current pilots, middle school students are discovering the many opportunities that are available to them in CTE. These pilots have included CTE camps, in school MS-CTE experiences, professional development opportunities for teachers at both the middle school and CTE school, hands on CTE tours, as well as after school CTE programming.

The Middle School CTE programs thrive with collaboration between the CTE schools and the middle schools. The middle schools and CTE schools work together to design a program that will meet the needs of the students and provide an engaging learning experience. Alignment with the middle school CTE standards is required for all programs. These standards are in draft form and are being reviewed through the implementation of the current pilot programs. The current draft standards can be found here.

For additional information please visit the Middle School CTE web site at https://www.maine.gov/doe/learning/cte/schools/middleschool or contact Margaret Harvey at margaret.harvey@maine.gov