CTE broadens BKW students’ career options

boy in safety goggles working on machine
Ryan Stansfield at work in his machining class.

Nathaniel wants to build houses.

Carrie wants a career in nursing.

Hannah wants to manage IT.

How does a school district of roughly 850 students meet the needs of a diverse mix of students? For BKW, it is not practical to offer courses in all of the technical fields its students might pursue. Building classrooms, buying equipment, and hiring qualified teachers to teach a handful of students is simply not a wise investment of the community’s tax dollars. So, how does BKW answer the challenge?

Capital Region BOCES’ Career & Technical Education (CTE) and New Visions are helping BKW student pursue their interests—something BKW cannot do on its own.

“About one third of our juniors and seniors—45 students—plus another three freshmen and sophomores are attending BOCES career programs,” said Superintendent Dr. Timothy Mundell.

“Few people understand the scope of our BOCES offerings.”

Following is the breakdown of students attending each program:

  • Criminal Justice (4)
  • Commercial Construction (5)
  • Auto Trades Tech (1)
  • Cosmetology (5)
  • Residential Construction (2)
  • Retail Office Services (1)
  • Nurse Assistant (2)
  • Computer Network Tech (1)
  • HVAC (2)
  • Welding (3)
  • Gaming (4)
  • Manufacturing Technology (3)
  • Electrical (7)
  • Pet Tech (1)
  • Auto Services (1)
  • Manufacturing and Machining (3)
  • New Visions (3)
girl at drafting table
Kylie Creamer works on her plans.

“Students are introduced to CTE courses here in the secondary school through a variety of courses,” said Principal Dr. Mark Pitterson.

“Those courses include architectural drawing, financial management, computer applications, construction systems, design and drawing, energy systems, introduction to programming, production systems, programming with block and code, technology 7, technology 8, transportation systems, video game design and production.”

These course introduce students to various fields, ultimately letting them transition to CTE in their junior year.

Each year, students are selected for CTE programs based on their guidance department scheduling conferences, their vocational aptitude and interests, and their parents’ guidance.

girl cutting woman's hair
BKW cosmetology student Samantha Mickle cuts customer Edith Jaqueway’s hair.

CTE does not mean students forego traditional school subjects. All CTE students earn credits in English, mathematics and science through their vocational studies.

 “CTE programs allow us to provide a broad range of education and career options for our student; options we can’t offer on our own,” said Dr. Mundell.