Career and Technical Education

Students spend the first part of their freshman year exploring the man career/technical paths that Dean Tech offers. Over the course of their freshman year, students rotate through selected career/technical labs. At the middle of their freshman year, students are placed in one of the programs based on their top choices; their performance and aptitude in the different labs; the number of applicants for each lab; and their attendance, disciplinary records, and grades.

Dean Tech’s twelve (12) career/technical programs are organized into four (4) Academies: Transportation. Construction, Personal Services, and Manufacturing and Technology. Each Academy contains three (3) Career/Technical labs. Learn more about each lab below.


Transportation Academy

Automotive Collision Repair

The Automotive Collision Repair lab offers basic instruction in concepts of estimating and repairing body damage. Students learn techniques and procedures for welding and using hand and air tools. Surface preparation, frame straightening, glass installation, finishing, painting, and auto trim are covered.

Automotive Technology

This lab offers a comprehensive introduction to the field of automotive technology. Coursework covers standards from the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) and Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). As students become more advanced, they study how to troubleshoot problems. They also gain experience working with transmission and transaxles, clutch assemblies, drive shafts, and engine cooling systems. Students work on vehicles donated by residents and the City of Holyoke.

Diesel Technology

The Diesel Technology lab includes classroom and hands-on experiences in repairing diesel engines used to power buses, trucks, construction machinery, and similar equipment. Instruction and practice are provided in the diagnostics and repair of engines, brakes, electrical/electronic systems, suspension, and steering. Students demonstrate performance of these skills as defined by ASE/NATEF standards. Students learn how to read technical manuals, and use hand and power tools as well as testing and diagnostic equipment.


Construction Academy


The carpentry lab offers hands-on instruction in power hand tool use, accurate measurement, safety procedures, and blueprint reading. Students build projects to increase their understanding of the tools and machines used in the carpentry trade. Students learn terminology used in both residential and commercial construction. The relationship of carpentry with other segments of construction industry is emphasized.


The Electrical lab develops competency working with electrical circuits and piping. Students are trained for the intermediate level in the electrical field. Instructions include blueprint reading, pipe bending, electrical theory, electrical test equipment, an introduction to the national code, residential wiring, commercial writing, electrical safety, grounding, and electrical services.

Metal Fabrication/Welding

In the Metal Fabrication/Welding lab, students develop skills working with ferrous and nonferrous metals. Students are trained for intermediate level employment in sheet metal. Instruction includes blueprint reading, machine setup and operation, theory, and layout, as well as fabrication and assembly of sheet metal. Students develop a working knowledge of sheet metal procedures including fabrication of ductwork and complementary fitting.


Personal Services Academy


The Cosmetology lab offers classroom and practical experiences in a variety of professional care treatments, including the beautification of hair and skin. The course includes training in shampooing, hair styling, setting, cutting, coloring, tinting, bleaching, fitting wigs, permanent waving, facials, manicuring, and hand and arm massaging. Students also learn anatomy, hygiene, and sanitation. Additional instruction is given in small business (salon) management, record keeping, and customer relations. The lab prepares students for the state licensing examination.

Culinary Arts

The Culinary Arts lab offers training in cooking, pastry preparation, restaurant management, and dining room services. The department operates a full service restaurant which is open to the public. In addition to the basics of culinary arts, students are trained in all aspects of the industry including sanitation and the safe handling of food.

Health Services

The fields of health occupations are rapidly expanding and changing. The Health Services program prepares students for the field of nursing. Students learn the fundamentals of health by exploring such areas as anatomy and physiology, nursing, medical terminology, and early childhood development. The classroom lab experience is enhanced by clinical practice.


Manufacturing and Technology Academy

Graphic Communications

Graphic Communications is one of the largest manufacturing industries in the United States. The Graphic Communications lab prepares students for a wide range of career possibilities in the industry. Students are introduced to theories and practical experience in turning ideas into designs that convey a message. These skills are applicable in many every day and commercial applications.

Machine Technology

Students in the Machine Technology lab work with a variety of tools to create machined parts from different materials within allowed tolerances. The course prepares students for a variety of jobs, from research and development work to production. Students learn working properties of metals like steel, cast iron, aluminum, and brass as well as materials such as tungsten carbide and carbon fiber titanium. Machinists are required to have proficient math skills as they work with fractions, decimals, formulas, and basic trigonometry. In addition, machinists need computer and communication skills. Machinists develop the ability to visualize objects as portrayed on blueprints.

Programming & Web Development

The Programming and Web Development lab prepares students in the core computer areas of programming, web design, office technology, multimedia creation, as well as computer troubleshooting and maintenance. Students in this lab will design, develop, and maintain websites and programs in addition to learning basic hardware and system foundations.