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January 6, 2010


The University of Maine at Fort Kent will donate four used Garmin 12-XL Global Positioning System (GPS) units to Oxford Hills Technical School in South Paris, Maine, in conjunction with an articulation agreement in forest technology that exists between the technical school and the University.

The GPS units will provide accurate location, time, information, and training, for students at Oxford Hills in all weather, day or night, anywhere in the world.
“We are very glad to have the units donated,” said Al Schaeffer, an instructor of forestry and wood harvesting at Oxford Hills. “We have two units of our own, and it's always difficult to share the units that we do have with 12 to 14 students. I am very happy with the working relationship our forestry program has with UMFK’s forestry program,” Schaeffer added.
The articulation agreement between the two institutions is an effort by educators in Maine to weave a seamless web from grades K though 16, that meets the needs of citizens of Maine as they seek education and training for the next century. 
Another goal of the articulation agreement is to furnish the means to provide Maine’s forest products industry with the necessary skilled workforce to support the industry as it grows in a global economy.
“Everyone benefits from this type of program: the students; the schools; the employers; the communities; and the taxpayers of the state;” said Jeff Dubis, instructor of forestry at UMFK. “Programs such as these are essential if Maine is to educate its entire workforce,” Dubis added.
Through the implementation of the articulation agreement, students acquire valuable skills; schools become more efficient; employers hire better-qualified employees; communities keep their younger members; and more taxpayers enter the workforce. 
The articulation agreement between the tech school and UMFK focuses on two courses: Introduction to Forestry and Forest Operations. It is the intent, of UMFK, however, to build on the agreement and to articulate other courses, as may be feasible, in the future.
Students at Oxford Hills are able to earn college credits while they still are in high school. The agreement enables students to progress through their education faster, and at a lower cost.
“I think the articulation agreement has been very successful, especially over the recent year or so,” said Schaeffer. “There currently are two students at UMFK, and there will be three or four students at UMFK next year. The articulation agreement is an important factor for students deciding to attend UMFK.”
UMFK benefits from the articulation agreement by attracting more and better-prepared students. The high school students who attend and graduate from forestry programs are trained for high-paying jobs in rural areas, and are not forced to relocate to urban areas in order to earn a living wage.
Students who graduate from Oxford Hills, have completed the requirements for the articulated program, and who are certified by Oxford Hills as proficient, receive credit for the Introduction to Forestry course and three credit hours toward the Forest Operations course when they matriculate at UMFK. Tuition costs for the articulated credits are waived for those students.     ###