October 21, 2019
The University of Maine at Fort Kent Forestry Program and St. John Valley Technology Center (SJVTC) have entered into a unique agreement that will focus on providing graduates of SJVTC’s forestry program the opportunity to achieve a degree in a shortened period of time.
“This initiative emphasizes the commitment UMFK has to growing the local workforce,” said Professor Jeffrey Dubis, Chair of UMFK’s Natural Sciences Division. “I am very excited about the new forestry program at the St John Valley Technical Center and our articulation agreement. I am especially excited about the close cooperation between our schools and our ability to share our curriculum and resources with them.”
This is the tenth such articulation agreement between the UMFK Applied Forest Management program and high school forestry and logging programs throughout Maine and Vermont and the seventh articulation agreements that Professor Dubis has developed in the past 15 months. Students from SJVTC will receive college credits toward two UMFK forestry courses; Introduction to Forestry and Forest Operations.
“I am ecstatic to introduce a Forest Resource Management program at SJVTC and have the opportunity to collaborate with UMFK’s Applied Forest Management Program through an Articulation Agreement,” said Kevin Lavoie, SJVTC Director. “We are pleased to offer secondary students of the geographic area an opportunity to matriculate their CTE learning to the University level and directly into the Forestry workforce.”
In addition to this program, two other similar programs exist in Aroostook County. UMFK has had an articulation agreement with the forestry program at Region 2 School of Applied Technology in Houlton and Dyer Brook for the past 20 years. It has led to a number of well-prepared students coming to UMFK for forestry. Van Buren High School is now offering an Introduction to Forestry course through UMFK’s Rural U program. Though just in its first year, Van Buren already has six students in the class. UMFK is sharing curriculum and resources with them as well. Dubis is equally excited about this new program.
“I am confident that both local programs will provide students with an excellent background in the many skills needed in today’s forestry industry. Hopefully we can begin to develop a pipeline for St John Valley youth that will take them from high school to a college degree in forestry and eventually on to an exciting career in the local forest products industry. These agreements provide a seamless transition for students who wish to pursue their education at UMFK,” said Dubis.
“Within the CTE arena it is our responsibility to evaluate ongoing local workforce development(s) by addressing workforce sustainability through creating programs, such as this, that assist in fostering industry growth,” said Lavoie.