Career and Technical Educational schools, formerly known as vocational schools, have gone through lots of changes over the years.

Published: Feb. 26, 2021 at 2:03 PM EST
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Aroostook County, Maine (WAGM) - Over the years Career and Technical Education or CTE schools have gone through many changes.  Those changes range from slowly moving away from the stigma that students not headed to college will go to a vocational school to gender stereotypes in the non-traditional programs.

“When I was a student, in fact I was a pretty decent student academically I was told by a guidance counselor that I didn’t belong up here. So we’ve worked a long time to remove that stigma that this is a place for all students not just those who are good with their hands and not academically, but to be a good vocational or CTE student you need to be good with your hands and your head,” said former student now Director of PI and Caribou CTE school, Ralph Conroy.

Alison Britton, who is also a former student and now an Early Childhood Education Instructor said, “People thought about CTE as being a traditional vocational education and I think that was kind of viewed for students who struggled academically, they could at least learn skills to get a job, I think now we really appreciate those sorts of careers and we recognize they are skilled careers and they do take some academic strengths so students are really encouraged to participate here in programs now.”

Over the years there has been a real push to encourage women to attend CTE Schools.

“As a matter of fact some of our most successful students in our hard trade programs including our welding program, auto motive technology program even our large maintenance equipment program have been female students,” said Tracy Corbin, Guidance Counselor of Caribou Tech.

Another difference are the materials available for use in some of the programs compared to what was available years ago.

Josh Murchie, former student now Auto Collision Instructor at Houlton Region Two said, “The materials being used, what I was taught to spray back in 08 and 09 compared to the water born paints that are out there now that has been the vast change, just more environmentally friendly – safer to use.”

Any student that is interested in attending CTE schools is encouraged to talk to their guidance counselor.

CTE schools in the county are:

  • Caribou Technology Center
  • M.S.A.D #24
  • Presque Isle Regional Career & Technology Center
  • Region Two School of Applied Technology
  • St. John Valley Technology Center

To find a full list of CTE schools in Maine, you can visit this website,

Adriana Sanchez NewsSource 8

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