Assemblywoman Jenne Gets Peek at BOCES Program Located on SUNY Potsdam Campus

February 28, 2017

St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES instructor Sonya Taylor (left) discusses her program with Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne.

Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne recently visited the SUNY Potsdam campus to learn more about the college's education program from students, faculty members and administrators.

She toured some of the ancillary programs offered on campus during her visit, including a brief stop in the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES Education and Human Development program classroom located at Flagg Hall on the SUNY Potsdam campus.

Assemblywoman Jenne said she was pleased to see St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES and SUNY Potsdam working in partnership to address the looming teacher shortage in the region.

"This collaboration on the Education Careers Academy for high school seniors is a critical first step in addressing the teacher shortage in the North Country. We need to make a concerted effort to convince our best and brightest high school students that there are currently tremendous opportunities available in the education field," she said.

"The BOCES class planned to begin next year will provide high school students interested in becoming teachers or entering the education field with a great opportunity to get a head start on their peers," according to Assemblywoman Jenne.

The program exposes the high school students to potential career pathways in the education, early childhood and human services fields.

The two-year Education and Human Services program includes instruction in human development from life to death, nutrition, recreation, planning and supervision of play and learning activities, child abuse and neglect prevention, parent-child relationships and applicable legal and administrative requirements. Throughout the program, students gain practical hands-on experience working with children.

Students operate a laboratory school under the direction of the Education and Human Services program teacher. The on-site laboratory school gives students practical experience working with children from two- to five-years-old before they enter their off-site work-based learning experience. Work-based sites range from Head Start through elementary school classrooms.

Students receive a minimum of 250 hours spent in areas ranging from working with young children in the classroom to hands on experience in the field of their choice. Ms. Taylor said she currently has students interning with speech pathologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists and in elementary and middle school classrooms. She also has students interning at nursing homes, child care centers and independent living centers.

SUNY Potsdam and St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES officials told Assemblywoman Jenne steps are now being taken to offer a program for students interested in entering the education program.

"In just a short time frame, I have built wonderful relationships with the faculty and staff at SUNY Potsdam. We are currently in the process of developing a new program, an Education Careers Academy, that will be offered as a full-day program to high school seniors interested in pursuing a career in the education field, which includes many more careers other than teaching," St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES instructor Sonya Taylor said.

Students in the Education Careers Academy will graduate with college credits. Students will also be certified in BLS (Basic Life Skills), which includes CPR, AED, Choking and Basic First Aid.

St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES officials are also hopeful they will also be able to offer students an opportunity to complete all requirements to be a certified teacher's assistant.

"We are continuing to explore opportunities for my students to collaboratively work together with SUNY Potsdam students currently in the college's education program," Ms. Taylor said.

Assemblywoman Jenne also learned about the literacy program for elementary school students located in the Sheard Literacy Center at SUNY Potsdam.