Presque Isle Regional CTE Provides Enhanced Dual Enrollment Pathway to Students

At the Presque Isle Regional Career & Technical Center (PIRCTC) we strive to provide our students with marketable skills which will translate to a career or educational path. Dual enrollment opportunities are a very powerful tool in this regard.

One example is the PIRCTC Drafting & Engineering program. Two unique and highly effective dual enrollment opportunities are available to the Drafting & Engineering Technology students.

As a result of a collaborative effort between The University of Maine College of Engineering, Bridge Year Educational Services, Inc. and the Presque Isle Regional Career & Technical Center (PIRCTC) Students enrolled in the PIRCTC Drafting & Engineering Technology program are able to earn college credit for the Maine College of Engineering course MEE-120 (Engineering Graphics & Computer Aided Design) and CIE-101 (Engineering Graphics for Civil engineers). During the current 2019-2020 school year, 14 students have taken advantage this unique opportunity.

Since 2014, eighteen graduates of the PIRCTC Drafting & Engineering Technology program have been accepted into the Maine College of Engineering, majoring in Mechanical Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering, and Chemical Engineering. Additional graduates of the PIRCTC Drafting & Engineering program are pursuing degrees in Marine engineering, Industrial Design, and Precision Machine at various post-secondary institutions.

These opportunities are the first such agreement between the University of Maine, College of Engineering and a high school level program and provide an enhanced pathway for those PIRCTC students desiring to pursue an engineering degree through the Maine College of Engineering.

The PIRCTC Drafting & Engineering Program is a two year program providing area high school students with computer aided design (CAD) and solid modeling skills using state-of-the art software and technology as well as introducing fundamentals of engineering and architecture, education and career paths, additive manufacturing (3D printing), and CNC technology through classroom, lab and applied learning opportunities.

This story was submitted by Timothy R. Prescott, PIRCTC Director and Terry Harper, PIRCTC Drafting & Engineering Technology Instructor in collaboration with Dwight A. Littlefield, Maine DOE Director for Career and Technical Education (CTE) as part of the Maine Schools Sharing Success Campaign and in celebration of CTE this month. To submit stories or ideas email them to Rachel Palling at rachel.paling@maine.gov.

CTE Programs- Input Request!

In an effort to enhance Maine’s high quality Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, the Department of Education is seeking your input.

The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1984 was recently reauthorized as the Carl D. Perkins Strengthening Career and Technical Education (CTE) for the 21st Century (Perkins V) Act of 2018. Since the reauthorization, the CTE Team at the Department has met with stakeholders to develop the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) Maine State Plan.

Maine’s state plan is now available for public comment for the next thirty (30) days, with public comment closing on Monday January 20, 2020. The Maine Perkins V state plan is located on the Department’s CTE webpages. Feedback should be provided through the available survey.  Recommendations and comments will be reviewed and posted on the CTE webpage.  Input may also be provided, in person or in writing, during a public hearing for the Perkins V State Plan scheduled for January 9, 2020, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at Burton M. Cross State Office Building, 111 Sewall Street,  Augusta, Room 103 A and B. For additional information, please contact Dwight A. Littlefield at dwight.a.littlefield@maine.gov

Portland High School Partner Spotlight: Tyler Karu

Submitted by Andrea Levinsky, Extended Learning Opportunities Coordinator, Portland High School. Each month we will feature a community partner. We are excited to open this series with Tyler Karu!

Tyler Karu of Tyler Karu Design and Interiors has been an incredible partner of Portland High’s Extended Learning Opportunities since November of 2016. She has participated in every possible opportunity including hosting students for job shadow day and internships in addition to serving on career panels and doing mock interviews for 9th graders.

Tyler was inspired to start working with Portland High because she wanted to set an example of a strong woman in business. She says, “I wanted to be example of someone who can make a mark in my own little community…[I wanted to show that] women have a seat at the table and can do anything we want.” 

She has continued to work with Portland High School over the years because she is inspired by the students. She finds that the student body is interested and engaged. She says, “There aren’t a lot of high schools that prepare students for real life. I think Portland High just does such a good job with that and it makes kids more interested in job and professional life and learning about careers and future directions. I think Portland High is preparing the students for life skills.”

To other businesses that want to get involved, she says that, “It is our responsibility as business owners and professional people to reach back out into the community and offer help and support. What better group to reach out to than high schoolers who are thinking about the next step in their lives?”

Through Extended Learning Opportunities, Tyler is able to “make a difference on a fundamental and pragmatic level,” she says. “there’s nothing more valuable.”

Business partners make a profound impact in students as well. In her internship with Tyler, Gloria Sanchez was able to solidify her passion for her chosen career path of interior design. She gained experience in creating designs and working with clients. Gloria was even hired by the company for a summer job following her internship!

We are so grateful for Tyler’s continued partnership and her leadership in supporting our students. If you are interested in getting involved with Portland High School’s Extended Learning Opportunities program through job shadows, mock interviews, internships, or career panels. Please contact Andrea Levinsky, Extended Learning Opportunities Coordinator at levina@portlandschools.org

PRIORITY NOTICE: Live Broadcast Link Available for Public Hearing on Proposed Revisions to Rule Chapter 132 (Career and Education Development, English Language Arts, and Mathematics Standards) on November 13, 2019

As a reminder, the Maine Department of Education has scheduled a public hearing on November 13th, 2019 as part of the scheduled periodic review of the Maine Learning Results. The Department is seeking public comments regarding the proposed revisions to Rule Chapter 132, revised career and education development, English language arts, and mathematics standards until 5 pm on November 27th, 2019.

The public hearing will take place in room 103A of the Burton Cross Building in Augusta from 1-4 pm. Anyone present may speak at the public hearing. People that wish to speak will be asked to sign in and, preferably, provide two written copies of comments, as well as an electronic copy. The live broadcast is for viewing the hearing only. You will not be able to provide public comment via the live broadcast.

Anyone unable to attend the public hearing may send written comments by 5 pm on November 27th, 2019. Written comments may be emailed to sis.doe@maine.gov with the subject “Career and Education Development Standards Review,” or “English Language Arts Standards Review,” or “Mathematics Standards Review” or mailed to Maine Department of Education, attn: Beth Lambert, 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333.

Below is a list of relevant links, as well as the hearing information including a link for the live broadcast:

For further information about the standards review process contact Beth Lambert at Beth.Lambert@maine.gov.

Maine Students Join Nearly 70,000 FFA Members in Indianapolis

Maine school representatives and student State Officers participated in the 92nd National FFA (formerly known as “Future Farmers of America”) Convention on October 30-November 2, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Twelve FFA students from Ashland High School, Easton High School, and Presque Isle Regional Career & Technical Center competed in events including Dairy Cattle Evaluation, Employment Skills, Environment & Natural Resources, and Horse Evaluation. 

State FFA Officers Graham Berry (President), Camryn Curtis (Vice President) and Ava Cameron (Secretary-Treasurer) participated alongside their fellow Maine competitors, teachers and chaperones, with Graham and Camryn serving as delegates to committees on Competitions and Member Experiences.  State FFA Advisor Doug Robertson from the Maine Department of Education oversaw student State FFA Officers and participated in educational sessions with fellow staff from other states.

Maine FFA State Secretary-Treasurer Ava Cameron presents the Maine Flag at the Opening Session.
Maine FFA State Secretary-Treasurer Ava Cameron presents the Maine Flag at the Opening Session.

FFA is the largest student leadership organization in the United States, with over 700,000 members grades 7-12 enrolled in courses related to agriculture and natural resources.  Of these members, nearly 70,000 attended the National Convention.  Maine’s delegates helped develop recommendations for changes to the National FFA to benefit members.

The National FFA Convention provided competitions, motivational sessions, leadership workshops, awards and scholarships for student members, as well as the chance to meet peers from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  In addition to competitions and motivational sessions, Maine participants had the opportunity to discover Indianapolis and many local attractions including the Indiana State Museum, the rodeo and the zoo, as well as enjoying a concert featuring Brett Young.

Maine FFA State Secretary-Treasurer Ava Cameron presents the Maine Flag at the Opening Session.
Maine FFA State Secretary-Treasurer Ava Cameron presents the Maine Flag at the Opening Session.

In Maine, secondary schools with technical programs in agriculture and natural resources as well as all schools for students grades 7-12 with relevant agriculture/natural resources courses, including science curriculum infused with agriculture and natural resource topics are eligible to charter FFA chapters.

For more information, please contact:  Doug Robertson, State Advisor, Maine Department of Education, (207) 624-6744, doug.robertson@maine.gov