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HFM Career & Technical Education Hosts Regional Counselors Meeting

More than two dozen school counselors and administrators recently gathered for a day-long workshop focused on educational updates and to learn about resources available for students and families.

The event, held at the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES campus, was hosted by HFM Career & Technical Education (CTE) Principal Michael DiMezza, who gave an update on enrollment at the Career & Technical Center.

Nearly 600 high school juniors and seniors from 11 HFM component school districts are currently enrolled in one of 16 pathways at the Career & Technical Education Center. Pathways include programs like Environmental Conservation, Cosmetology, Veterinary and Animal Science, Medical Assisting, Culinary Arts and more. DiMezza also reminded the group that enrollment for the 2024-25 school year is underway and should be completed soon.

He also spoke about the Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment. The assessment uses information strategically to drive decisions about CTE programs that build pathways to postsecondary success for all students and meet the needs of employers and the community.

John Ramoska, Associate Dean of Enrollment Management with SUNY FMCC, was in attendance and spoke to the group about many initiatives taking place at the college.

Ramoska touched upon the variety of micro-credentials offered at the college. A micro-credential is a compact credential that verifies the achievement of in-demand skills and competencies. Recipients can showcase their skills easily through social media platforms such as LinkedIn, to secure employment, or advance within their career. Out of the more than 50 micro-credentials offered at the college, 26 are eligible for financial aid.

Ramoska also spoke about Collaborative Career Learning (COCAL) opportunities. COCAL programs are an innovative approach to career learning where students can learn career skills in fields in which jobs are available locally. Students are matched with an internship with a local employer at the point of advisement. Some of the COCAL opportunities are in fields such as business, healthcare, veterinary assistant, teaching assistant and more, including a new opportunity in the social media marketing specialist program.

Ramoska’s presentation also included discussion about FMCC’s early admission program which allows rising high school seniors the opportunity to enroll in college courses on FMCC’s campus.

Set to launch soon is a new 2 + 2 dual admissions partnership with The University at Albany. Students accepted at FMCC can also take advantage of acceptance at The University at Albany at the point of application if they choose. Through this partnership, students can select from one of twenty degree programs if they decide to attend UAlbany. 

High school seniors who are interested in enrolling in FMCC’s Early Admissions program can also participate in the UAlbany dual admissions program, therefore allowing them the opportunity to earn their bachelor degree in only three years following high school graduation.

The workshop also gave counselors and administrators a chance to learn more about the effects of tobacco and vaping.

Representatives from Catholic Charities of Fulton and Montgomery Counties were on hand and spoke about tobacco control programs offered to school districts at no charge through Catholic Charities. According to recent statistics provided by Catholic Charities, the New York State Department of Health found that 18.7% of high schoolers who were surveyed have vaped.

Participants also engaged in conversations about the Reality Check program and substance abuse prevention education. Cara Rosebeck, a program specialist with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, spoke about the impact of underage drinking and prevention methods.

Counselors and Administrators gather in the conference room at the HFM BOCES main campus and listen to John Ramoska from FMCC speak.

John Ramoska of SUNY FMCC speaks to a crowd of counselors and administrators during an HFM regional counselors meeting.