Video: Many paths to success run right through Niskayuna Schools

There is not just one route to future success for today’s students.

Education is changing – but Niskayuna students have access to internships, career and technical training, and experiential learning programs right now.

The video above, “This is a Niskayuna Education,” highlights many of these opportunities, including the Career Exploration and Internship Program at Niskayuna High School and BOCES programs that provide immersive learning experiences and career and technical training.

The district’s Instructional Program Advisory Council – or IPAC – sees increased exposure to these opportunities as an important part of the future of education in our community. IPAC is comprised of parents and community members who represent business, industry, higher education and the nonprofit and government sectors, along with faculty, administrators. It is led by Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr.

While IPAC and others hope to see more hands-on, real-world learning experiences begin in earlier grades, bringing attention to current opportunities for high school students is also important.

These opportunities include BOCES programs such as: New Visions, which provides in-depth experiences in fields such as healthcare and law and government; the project-based Tech Valley High School; and a wide range of career and technical education (CTE) opportunities.

CTE programs have evolved considerably in recent years. Those available to Niskayuna students include the automotive and electrical trades, HVAC, healthcare occupations and culinary arts. They also include high-tech machining and manufacturing, welding and metal fabrication, and gaming design at the new Center for Advanced Technology @ Mohonasen.

While CTE programs often help prepare students for a career, several of them enable students to achieve industry certifications and earn college credit – giving them a head-start on advanced training or a degree.

“As the world changes, we must recognize that the opportunities available through BOCES and other partners are an important part of a comprehensive high school program,” said Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr. “We want students to be able to explore different options and find the path that is right for them. For many, exposure to specialized training or work-based learning will help them find a passion, a good job and make a meaningful contribution to their community and the economy.

“The message to students is that all paths are equally valuable and viable,”” Dr. Tangorra added.

This effort comes as the State Education Department has added some assessment flexibility to graduation requirements in recent years that enables students to use CTE other approved coursework toward a Regents diploma.

Dr. Tangorra is a member of the Capital Region BOCES Superintendents” CTE Committee. He said he will be working with IPAC, school leaders and BOCES to find ways to inform parents and students are informed about the options available to them.

It is particularly important, he said, to raise awareness when students are in middle school before they have begun the high school planning process.

In addition to promoting the many paths students can take to success, IPAC is also focused on identifying the features of a K-8 program and school facilities that would promote more interdisciplinary and project based work.

The advisory committee is just one part of efforts to systematically review and advance academic programs in the district based on the strategic plan.

Further Reading & Viewing

Niskayuna Strategic Plan Update

District embraces systematic approach to future planning

Niskayuna Central School District Strategic Plan

Focus on Curriculum & Programs, Environment & Culture, and Partnerships

Capital Region BOCES Video

“The Middle Skills Gap”

Capital region BOCES Career and technical education and new visions courses

( ) Indicates program location: (A) = Offered at Albany campus; (S) = Offered at Schoharie campus; (M) = Offered at Mohonasenasen Center for Advanced Technology; (B) = Offered at both Albany & Schoharie campuses (O) = Off-campus program

  • Advanced Alternative Energy (M)
  • Welding (M)
  • Agricultural Technology (S) (New offering for the 2017-18 school year)
  • Auto Body Collision Repair (A)
  • Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair (A)
  • Auto Body Refinishing (A)
  • Automotive Services/Small Engine Repair (B)
  • Automotive Tech Prep/College in the High School (A)
  • Automotive Trades Technology (B)
  • AYES Automotive Technician (A)
  • Botanical Services (A) (New offering for the 2017-18 school year)
  • Building Trades (A)
  • Careers in Health Care (O)
  • Carpentry Services (A)
  • Commercial Construction/Heavy Equipment (S)
  • Computer & Network Technician/Information Technology (A)
  • Cosmetology (B)
  • Criminal Justice (B)
  • Culinary Arts & Hospitality Technology (A)
  • Culinary Arts Tech Prep/University in the H.S. (A)
  • Diesel Tech (A)
  • Electrical Trades (A)
  • Floral Design (A)
  • Food Services (A)
  • Gaming Design and Implementation (M)
  • Global Fashion Studies (A)
  • HVAC/R (A)
  • Internet Application Design (A)
  • Information Technology (S) (New offering for the 2017-18 school year)
  • Manufacturing & Machining Technology (M)
  • New Visions: Health Careers (O)
  • New Visions: Law & Government (O)
  • New Visions: Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) (O)
  • New Visions: Scientific Research & World Health (O)
  • Nurse Assistant/HomeHealth Aide/Patient Care Services (A) [Referred to by some as Certified Nurse Assistant]
  • Patient Care Services (A)
  • Residential Construction/Heavy Equipment (S)
  • Retail & Office Services (A)
  • Sterile Processing Technician (M) (New offering for the 2017-18 school year)
  • STEM@SUNY Polytnechnic Institute (O)
  • Theatre and Film Production Technology I and II (M) (New offering for the 2017-18 school year)
  • Two-Year Sequence of Health Careers (A)
  • Welding & Metal Fabrication (A) (M)