NHS Program of Studies: Career & Technical Education

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Career & Technical Education (CTE) programs are designed to provide students the ability to learn, build experiences, and explore a career before entering college, additional technical training, the military or the workforce. CTE courses have been developed based on the skills and training that are in demand by employers, as well as where there are job opportunities today.
These courses allow students to:

  • Enter a trade or career pathway and immerse themselves in a hands-on learning setting for a half-day or longer;
  • Earn early college credits;
  • Earn credit toward graduation from high school
  • Gain practical experience and industry connections while learning;
  • Prepare for further trade, technical and/or advanced training;

The Career & Tech programs listed below are primarily offered at the Albany campus located in Colonie on Watervliet-Shaker Road (Rt. 155), about 15 minutes from Niskayuna High School, and the Mohonasen Center for Advanced Technology. There are also courses offered at the BOCES CTE center in Schoharie and in other business and education settings.

The Albany and Mohonasen centers have two sessions, spanning Niskayuna High School Mods 1-5 and 5-8. The session a student attends is based primarily on program availability. Transportation is arranged so the student can take up to four courses at Niskayuna and attend the CTE program. Students receive four credits for each year of successful study in a Career & Tech program.

Students who are interested in CTE programs should contact their school counselor. A decision to enter a Career & Tech program should be made carefully. Niskayuna is committed to paying tuition for students who take these courses. It is not always possible to provide other courses to replace a Career & Tech course dropped once the school year is underway.

The CTE centers offer tours and open houses for students and families, typically in January and February. The school district will be sharing information about these opportunities. Students are encouraged to visit the appropriate programs and campuses to become aware of the courses before deciding to attend.

The program descriptions on the following pages are based on recent information from the CTE schools, and the district cannot guarantee program availability in all cases. Students are encouraged to visit the Capital Region BOCES Career & Technical School website at

Career & Technical Education Programs

Click on the link or scroll down for course descriptions.



1 year, 4 credits, Grades 11-12

Auto Body Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology is a two-year program in which students learn about ever-changing materials, methods, and technology in this high-paying industry. Students explore career opportunities as well as participate in a work based learning experience at various local collision repair centers.

Refinishing – Year One

Students learn how to repair and refinish today’s vehicles and return them to pre-accident condition. They use single-stage paint, base coat clear coat as well as three stage pearl finishes. From preparering for paint to spraying paint and and adding the final details, students learn what is needed to get cars looking good again. Students also work towards obtaining an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification.

Refinishing – Year Two

Students repair damaged vehicles back to pre-accident condition. They learn the proper way to repair vehicles per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Students perform high-tech welding methods such as MIG and STRSW as well as Nitrogen plastic welding. Additionally, students will create damage appraisals, calculate repair costs and establish estimates. Students can work towards obtaining an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification.
The program is accredited by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).



1 year, 4 credits, Grades 10-12

From computerized diagnostics to hands-on repair, students in the Automotive Trades Technology program learn how to service and maintain all types of cars and light trucks. This two-year program covers a range of topics, from engine theory and hybrid vehicle technology, to specialized tools and equipment, to customer service and shop management. Students work on late-model vehicles donated by auto manufacturers as well as actual customer vehicles that are brought to class for servicing and repair.


2 years, 4 credits, Grade 11-12

The Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES) Automotive Technician program is a national auto industry program supported by BMW, Chrysler, GM, Toyota, Audi, Honda, Subaru, SkillsUSA and more. Students learn the basics of auto technology and may have the opportunity to work as paid interns at sponsoring auto dealerships. They learn about engines, electrical and computer systems, suspension, brakes, and the latest hybrid vehicle technology. They have the opportunity to earn college credit and work toward an associate’s degree through Hudson Valley Community College. Students interested in enrolling in AYES must be recommended to the program by an automotive instructor, and complete a transcript review and interview process. Prerequisites: Math Course I Regents.

75350 BUILDING TRADES I (Albany)


1 year, 4 credits, Grades 10-12

Students in the Building Trades program at the Albany campus learn through standardized craft training programs developed by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) and gain valuable experience through on- and off-campus projects. They learn about safety, green construction, how to read blueprints, and receive extensive training in home energy efficiency. Students who pass the written exams and performance tests gain a portable skill set and may earn NCCER certifications, which are recognized by contractors and employers across the country.


1 year, 4 credits, Grades 11-12

To create a steady pipeline of technicians, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, in collaboration with Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical School, will train and prepare students for careers in the US, and around the world, as maintenance technicians, process technicians and production technicians.Students learn about the semi-conductor industry, as well as clean room protocol, safety, electronics, hand tool usage, automation, tool extraction and repair, valve operation and repair and much more.



1 year, 4 credits, Grades 11-12

Internet Applications & Design prepares students for creative careers in web design, multimedia communications, graphic design and other related areas. During the two-year program students develop professional level skills in Adobe software applications. They learn to apply design processes and design theory in order to improve the quality and consistency of their work. In addition to digital output, the classroom lab provides specialty printing experiences including wide format poster and banner printing, dye sublimation printing on metal, ceramics and textiles as well as t-shirt transfer printing. Students demonstrate their technical abilities through the Adobe Certified Expert Program. In a two-year period, it is possible for students to earn up to five industry recognized certifications. This combined with work samples provides students with the opportunity To graduate with an impressive portfolio. For real world experience, students participate in a variety of work-based learning activities designed to provide professional level practice including exposure to the expectations they will encounter in their future employment. Students completing the program are prepared for rigorous college and post-secondary programs and/or qualified for entry level jobs within the visual communications field.

75630 GAME DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION I (Mohonasen Center for Advanced Technology)

75632 GAME DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION II (Mohonasen Center for Advanced Technology

1 year, 4 credits, Grades 10-12

Game Design and Implementation is a two-year program for students interested in the creative worlds of video game design, 3-D modeling, and computer programming Students learn the history of games from ancient times to present. They create board games, card games and dice games while learning the fundamentals of Game Design. Then students create digital games using Game Maker software, Game Salad and Unity. Students will explore various art concepts during the first year and 3D modeling during the second year. Finally, students will design their own video games in groups as well as create a virtual videogame design company.

76640 MANUFACTURING & MACHINING TECHNOLOGY I (Mohonasen Center for Advanced Technology)

76640 MANUFACTURING & MACHINING TECHNOLOGY II (Mohonasen Center for Advanced Technology)

1 year, 4 credits, Grades 11-12

Manufacturing & Machining Technology was developed in cooperation with local businesses and industries, colleges and professional associations to meet our region’s growing demand for advanced manufacturing professionals. Students focus on skilled manufacturing, machining and advanced manufacturing, and learn how products are taken from concept to consumer using the latest technology to compete in a global marketplace. They learn computer-aided design (CAD), engineering drawing and sketching and a number of computer programs used in today’s highly technical manufacturing operations. Students benefit from partnerships with such advanced manufacturers as Greno Industries Inc., GE Energy, Simmons Machine Tool, PVA and Atlas Copco, which offer opportunities for field trips, job shadowing and internships.

78146 STERILE PROCESSING TECHNICIAN I (Mohonasen Center for Advanced Technology)

1 year, 4 credits, Grades 11-12

Sterile processing technicians decontaminate, inspect, package and sterilize equipment and devices used in the health care environment. These items range from complex devices to simple, hand-held surgical instruments. Sterile Processing Technicians serve a vital role in the health care industry, combating the spread of hospital-borne illnesses, as well as diseases. Sterile Processing Technicians find employment in hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, medical laboratories, birth centers and other facilities where sterilized equipment is needed.



1 year, 4 credits, Grades 11-12

This two-year program aligns with the Society of American Foresters Programs in Forest Technology standards and procedures. The program emphasizes forest ecology and silviculture, forest management, woods safety, forest land usage, forest protection, fish and wildlife management, forest recreation, trends in urban forestry, and current and emerging environmental conservation issues. Students spend over 75% of their time in outdoor “land labs” that feature projects that put theory into practice. There are a number of different types of land labs from entrepreneurial endeavors to community service projects. Curriculum includes commencement level math and English language arts.



1 year, 4 credits, Grades 11-12

This program includes training of Morgan horses for riding, using all related tack and equipment. Students learn the role of the caretaker, safety, professionalism, handling of horses, and riding. Students spend a majority of their time at the Rolling Oaks Farm in Gansvoort where they learn and apply equine and veterinary science on Saddlebred horses Curriculum includes commencement level math and English language arts. All students are given the opportunity to participate in a Work-Based Learning experience, which exposes them to the operation of a business and specific job duties related to future careers.

75700 COSMETOLOGY I (Albany)

1 year, 4 credits, Grades 10-12

75720 COSMETOLOGY II (Albany)

1 year, 4 credits, Grades 11-12


Cosmetology students learn the competencies and skills needed to pass the New York state practical and written licensing exams through a program that meets the state-required 1,000 hours of instruction. Students attend Cosmetology for two years. There is a mandatory summer program after completion of the first year, to complete a required 120 hours of study. They apply theory and skills, and strengthen competencies through hands-on experiences including a clinic open to the community and a salon internship. Academics are integrated, and students may earn college credits through Schenectady County Community College.

75510 PET TECH

1 year, 4 credits, Grades 11-12

Pet Tech is a program designed for students who are interested in working with small domestic animals to learn basic care. Skills taught include pet grooming, care and best practices for boarding animals. Students also learn about customer service, written and spoken communication, office and computer skills, phone etiquette, budgeting and money management, inventory and ordering, advertising, basic accounting and business math — all skills necessary to operate in a business and retail setting. Pet Tech also builds skills in problem solving and organizing.


1 year, 4 credits, Grades 10-12


1 year, 4 credits, Grades 11-12

From prep cook to executive chef and front desk to resort management, the culinary and hospitality industries offer a world of career possibilities. Learning takes place in the classroom, kitchen, dining room and the Albany campus’ fully functioning, on-site eatery, Café Anders. Students intern at local restaurants, hotels and other businesses and participate in public service events and culinary skills competitions. They also compete for college scholarships. Culinary Arts and Hospitality Technology is certified as an American Culinary Federation (ACF) ACCESS program and faculty are ACF-Certified Executive Chefs and Certified Chef Educators. The campus follows a National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation ProStart curriculum.


1 year, 4 credits, Grade 12

Culinary Arts Tech Prep enables high school seniors to earn up to 9 credit hours through Schenectady County Community College (SCCC), 15 credit hours through Johnson & Wales University (transferable from SCCC), and certification through the American Culinary Federation (ACF) ACCESS program. Students who take Culinary Arts as juniors may move up to Tech Prep as seniors, or seniors may enroll in Tech Prep as a one-year course. Students learn in the classroom, kitchen, Café Anders and the dining room. They also participate in public service events and culinary skills competitions. Career & Tech is an ACF Blue Ribbon ACCESS School. Interested students must submit a transcript and application.


1 year, 4 credits, Grades 10-12


1 year, 4 credits, Grades 11-12

Medium- and heavy-duty trucks require educated and experienced technicians for their maintenance and repair. Medium/Heavy Duty Truck Repair students work on late-model trucks and diesel engines. They learn electrical and electronic theory, which they apply to computerized control systems used on today’s trucks. Students also learn how to service and maintain steering, suspension, chassis and braking systems. Students also are taught about alternative fuels including biodiesel, and about hybrid vehicle technology. Students also learn vehicle air conditioning recovery and recycling service procedures, and upon completion of the training, may test for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved certification. Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)-style testing during the Diesel Tech program prepares students to pursue certification after graduation. Upon completion of the program, students may secure employment as entry-level technicians or advance their education and training. Diesel Tech at Career & Tech is the only high school-level program in the state to earn certification by the National Automotive Technician Education Foundation/ Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (NATEF/ASE).


1 year, 4 credits, Grades 10-12


1 year, 4 credits, Grades 11-12

Experienced electricians are in serious demand. The Electrical Trades program offers students the opportunity to learn basic electrical skills and to progress to the cutting edge of 21st-century green technologies. Students learn fundamental skills in electrical theory, and through classroom instruction and hands-on shop lessons, they can become successful residential wiring professionals. In each theory class and lab, students construct the circuits discussed, gaining skill and experience as they move from residential into commercial and industrial wiring. The materials, meters and methods used in Electrical Trades give students an in-depth understanding of their field and the knowledge needed to work with the latest environmentally friendly technologies. Electrical Trades students may earn advanced standing in the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) programs. Post-secondary education in the electrical industry is available through one-, two- and four-year college programs. Specialized training is also available at technical schools or through apprenticeships, and some employers pay for such education. Increased levels of education and training can lead to higher levels of employment and salary. Program graduates are well prepared to enter the workforce or apprenticeships or to undertake advanced college or technical school study.


1 year, 4 credits, Grades 10-12


1 year, 4 credits, Grades 11-12

Students enrolled in Global Fashion Studies have the opportunity to study creative design and core business concepts while applying them to the world of fashion. Further exploration will include careers in fashion, merchandising, marketing, retailing and e-tailing. With society’s ever-increasing focus on fashion trends, star apparel and more, this field is perfect for students with strong design skills, a strong imagination or just a desire to stand out. Leadership skills are emphasized along with creativity, problem-solving, writing, communications and presentation skills. In addition, students are exposed to state-of- the-art technology skills used by fashion industry professionals. Hands-on fashion career exploration is included in all phases of this course. As a college prep program, students may have opportunities to research and visit top fashion colleges during their course studies. Students will be guided through the development of a fashion trade portfolio showcasing their best work. Work-based learning opportunities will be available to students to work with local retailers at area shopping malls to learn visual display and merchandising. After completing Global Fashion Studies, students may start their careers or advance their education at two- or four-year colleges such as Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Laboratory Institute of Merchandising in New York City, Mount Ida College in Boston, Herkimer County Community College or Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in California.


1 year, 4 credits, Grades 10-12


1 year, 4 credits, Grades 11-12

The Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC/R) program gives students a solid career foundation. The HVAC/R field offers job opportunities that outnumber qualified professionals (visit www.BLS.org and search “HVAC” for more information). In a state-of-the-art classroom, students are prepared to test for federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification, which is required to work in the industry. Career information is available at www.ari.org, www.acca.org, and www.rses.org.


76521 THEATRE AND FILM PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGY II (Mohonasen Center for Advanced Technology)

1 year, 4 credits, Grades 11-12

Explore what happens backstage and in the studios through Entertainment Technology, a program offered in partnership with Proctors in Schenectady.
The program is based in classrooms, a studio theatre and for the senior year Proctors where students experience the world of theatre and film production, hands-on building skills and knowledge. Students learn about the technical aspects of theatre and film production including history, art and design interpretation, scenery, construction and painting techniques, tools and equipment, sound and recording, stage electrics and lighting, costuming and makeup. Backstage education is complemented by experiences in performance, art, music and practical building trades in a fun and creative atmosphere. Internships and job shadowing advance students’ marketable skills while helping them explore careers. First-year students can earn credit for integrated science, and second-year students can earn credit for integrated English. Upon completion of the program, students are well-prepared to continue their studies at college or enter the workforce. This program is a direct pathway into the Entertainment Technology program at Fulton-Montgomery Community College (FMCC).


1 year, 4 credit, Grades 11-12

Opportunities abound for experienced construction professionals and equipment operators. Residential Construction/Heavy Equipment students rotate through three key areas: general construction techniques and tools, preventive equipment maintenance and equipment operation. They learn through a standardized craft training program developed by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). Students also learn how to operate and maintain backhoes, skid steers and excavators. Work-based experiences, field trips, guest speakers and competitions reinforce hands-on and classroom learning. Residential Construction/Heavy Equipment students who pass written and performance exams can earn NCCER certifications, which are recognized nationwide by contractors and employers. Upon completion of the program, they may continue their education through the Commercial Construction/Heavy Equipment program or enter the workforce, apprenticeship programs or college.


1 year, 4 credits, Grades 11-12

Experienced construction professionals and equipment operators are in high demand. Commercial Construction/Heavy Equipment students rotate through two key areas: site development and layout, and utilities construction and installation. They learn through standardized craft training programs developed by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). Topics of study include workplace safety and management, tools, site development, layout, blueprints and codes, soils, green construction.



1 year, 4 credits, Grades 11-12

Music, light, air conditioning, intruder alarm—imagine how easy it would be if all these home systems could “talk” to each other and be controlled remotely. This capability exists now. More than 6,000 contractors nation-wide are installing integrated technologies in homes, and the number is growing. Such systems reduce the clutter of components, cables and remotes for everyone, and can improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. Job opportunities abound for trained technicians working for retailers, custom electronics installation companies, utility companies or on office building technical support teams.



1 year, 4 credits, Grades 11-12

Security, law enforcement and the criminal justice field are central to sound management of public and private enterprise. Open to juniors and seniors, the Criminal Justice program teaches students about the history, theory, practices and recent developments in these professions. They learn about police, court and prison systems, operation of security and protection programs and security procedures in public, commercial and residential settings. Hands-on learning teaches patrolling and investigative skills, including radio use, note-taking, evidence gathering, and dealing with safety hazards and emergency situations, as well as lifting fingerprints, photographing and diagramming crime scenes. Criminal Justice students also study civil and criminal law. Students completing the program may enter the profession or continue their education at college or law enforcement or protection academies. Those who are 18 or older may test for New York State Security Officer certification.

76650 WELDING & METAL FABRICATION I (Albany & Mohonasen Center for Advanced Technology)

1 year, 4 credits, Grades 10-12

76670 WELDING & METAL FABRICATION II (Albany & Mohonasen Center for Advanced Technology)

1 year, 4 credits, Grades 11-12

Welding & Metal Fabrication students learn the skills and techniques necessary for success in a career that values well-trained,experienced workers. They learn shielded metal arc welding (stick); (MIG), oxy-fuel cutting and tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding and automated orbital welding and oxy-fuel cutting. They also learn about the operation of welding and metal fabrication machinery, blueprint reading and shop theory. Upon completion, students are prepared to seek employment or proceed with more advanced training at a technical school or college. Career information may be found at www.aws.org.


76311 HEALTH CAREERS I (Albany & Schoharie)

76321 HEALTH CAREERS II (Albany & Schoharie)

1 year, 4 credits, Grades 11-12

This one- or two-year program offers students an opportunity to enter their health care field of choice at the level of their own choosing. Students have the option of taking a one-year program to earn certification as a Home Health Aide (HHA)/Personal Care Aide (PCA) or a separate one-year program to earn certification as a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA). Or, students can take both courses during their junior and senior years. Through both plans, students will earn CPR and American Health Association First Aid certifications. Below is the breakdown of how the sequences works:

CNA YEAR: Students learn total patient care through training in the classroom and off campus. They prepare to take the Certified Nurse Assistant examination that qualifies CNAs to work in any nursing home in the state. Students complete 108 hours of clinical work in a nursing home.

HHA/PCA YEAR: Students will learn through clinical training and classroom preparation how to provide valuable skills in conjunction with professional nurses in a home health care setting. Services range from health-related tasks such as obtaining vital signs to doing laundry, personal care and housekeeping. Students will complete 108 hours in a clinical setting.


1 year, 4 credits, Grade 12

Students focusing on careers in medicine or health professions can explore these fields in-depth through the New Visions: Health Careers program. The classroom is located at either St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany or Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, where students rotate through up to 40 clinical and administrative areas. Student rotations include the Center for Disability Services, Ellis Hospital (Nott, McClellan and Bellevue), Our Lady of Mercy Nursing Home, St. Peter’s Addiction Recovery Center, Hospice and other agencies. Students rotate through the operating room, pharmacy, psychiatric units, rehabilitation, radiation oncology, food services and maintenance, which poses special challenges in a sterile environment. They form a clearer vision of their college and career goals by acquiring first-hand knowledge of the day-to-day demands and rewards of various health care professions.

Programs with Questar III BOCES

In an effort to provide a wide variety of opportunities, Capital Region BOCES and Questar III BOCES (Rensselaer/Columbia/Greene counties) accept students in programs offered uniquely by each BOCES. The following programs are available through Questar III BOCES for students in the Capital Region BOCES region.


1 year, 4 credits, Grade 12

STEM students are at the forefront of technology in all fields. They explore careers that combat world hunger, rescue the environment, save thousands of children from fatal diseases, and help millions of people live more comfortable and productive lives. Students study how to implement state-of-the-art science as they explore the world of technology and engineering. Located at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, students participate in laboratory experiments and interact with scientific professionals.


1 year, 4 credits, Grade 12

Gain a worldwide perspective on health while learning how scientific and mathematical principles are applied to promote health and prevent disease. Located at the University at Albany’s East Campus in East Greenbush, students learn in healthfocused research environments. The program integrates rigorous academics with hands-on experiences. Students observe, interact with and learn from professionals conducting research and practicing public health in the community.


1 year, 4 credits, Grade 12

This program provides opportunities to explore a wide array of careers in the visual and performing arts. Based at The Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, the program blends an integrated curriculum in college-level English, music, art, theatre and film studies with hands-on experience in a creative academic environment. Students participate in both workshops and classroom instruction. They also gain valuable insights into career options by working directly with local visual and performing artists, such as jewelry designers, photographers, dancers and actors and through visiting art galleries and attending live theater productions.


1 semester, 4+ credits, Grade 12

The Theatre Institute at Sage (TIS) Internship Program provides high school seniors with the opportunity to explore careers in theatre performance and production through a combination of project-based experiences, integrated academics, and traditional classroom instruction. The program serves high school seniors with a strong interest in the performing arts. Students apply during their junior year and will interview and audition for placement in the program. Accepted students must demonstrate the ability to undertake college-level work and participate in activities that require independence and responsibility. Students will attend for one semester, September through mid-January or mid-January through June. The program is housed at Schacht Fine Arts Center on the Russell Sage College campus in historic downtown Troy. The program follows the high school schedule, meeting daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. There will be slight variations in the hours when shows are in production. Credits vary depending on theater elective offerings.