On Friday morning, at the United Technologies Center in Bangor I attended a reception hosted by the Bridge Year program, a collaboration between UTC, Hermon High School, Eastern Maine Community College, and the University of Maine System in which high school students receive up to 29.5 community college credits at a subsidized tuition rate.
The presenters described the program as allowing the students to proceed into local technical careers or the military “twice as far, twice as fast” and the students we met showed particular interest and dedication towards pursuing careers in business management, public safety, information technology, culinary arts, small engine repari, building construction, and the electrical trades.
Bridge Year advocates believe that the program is readily transferrable to other interested high schools within range of other career and technical education facilities. The Governor and Commissioner hope to provide additional support through the biennial budget.
Perhaps most notably, the representative attending from the University said they had learned a great deal about teaching from participating in the program which requires the teachers to have multiple certifications.