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PTECH Co-location Questions and Answers

Beginning in the 2020-2021 school year, HFM BOCES is co-locating its three PTECH programs.

The following questions and answers are meant to help parents and students understand what this means for them. Please e-mail questions you would like to see answered here to Comunications Specialist Betsy DeMars at bdemars@hfmboces.org.

Why is HFM BOCES co-locating the three PTECHs?

  • Having PTECH buildings in three locations has been a transportation hardship for the participating school districts. By co-locating, transportation to the PTECH programs will be more affordable for districts, and students will spend less time on buses.  This will significantly reduce the number of shuttles between high school sites and college locations.
  • Students will have access to a wider variety of educational programming, including elective classes and extracurricular activities.
  • The co-location will allow us to provide more support at college sites, including an administrator.
  • Overall, these changes are intended to help ensure the long-term sustainability of the PTECH programs in the HFM region.

What exactly is changing?

  • All ninth- and 10th-graders enrolled in the three PTECH programs will be housed at the Jansen Avenue School in Johnstown.
  • All 11th-graders enrolled in the three programs will attend classes on the HFM BOCES and FMCC campuses.
  • In the past, Ag PTECH 11th-graders attended SUNY Cobleskill. Under the new structure, Ag PTECH students in 12th-grade and beyond (years 13 and 14) will attend SUNY Cobleskill.

What is staying the same?

  • PTECH students will still earn their associate degree at no cost (as long as they perform within the program’s academic standards). 
  • Students will be immersed in project based learning in their freshman and sophomore years. 
  • Students will engage in career exploration to solidify their degree pathways. 
  • Students will work on developing professional skills with business partner mentors and participate in workplace tours and experiences.
  • Students will still have access to extracurricular activities.
  • PTECH students will attend college courses on a college campus beginning in their junior year (as long as they have met all the requirements to attend the college). The six-year program is individualized to each student.

How do these changes improve the PTECH experience?

  • Students will indicate an area of interest when they enroll in PTECH, but the new streamlined program will mean students may more easily explore pathways from the many offerings. Through a more varied selection of elective classes and exposure to a broader array of business partners, we anticipate a much richer experience for PTECH students.
  • Students will have access to a wider variety of educational programming, including elective classes and extracurricular activities.
  • Real-world opportunities are expected to grow exponentially in part because of the centralized location for business mentors and guest speakers. Job shadowing and internships for students also are anticipated to increase.
  • With one location for ninth- and 10th-graders and having juniors at HFM BOCES/FMCC, students will have less time on buses. Among other benefits, this will help students stay connected to their home districts’ extra-curricular activities if they desire.

How will this impact the jobs of teachers and staff?

  • Our goal is to sustain and grow the PTECH program.
  • We are keeping all the pathways, so teachers in all current content areas are needed.

How do these changes impact students’ trajectory toward graduation?

  • The individualized pathway to graduation from high school and college that each student is on will not be altered by these changes. 
  • Students will still have six years to complete the program.

What are the benefits to students who wish to pursue an agriculture degree to attend FMCC for one year and then transfer to SUNY Cobleskill for their remaining years?

  • Less time spent on buses will allow students more time to spend on their academics and interact with their PTECH teachers.
  • Students will have more time to participate in extracurricular activities.

Will agriculture students still have access to relevant learning resources such as the on-site greenhouse?

  • There will still be an agriculture teacher, and all equipment from the agriculture classroom in St. Johnsville will be moved to the new location.
  • The high tunnel greenhouse that is currently on the property at the D.H. Robbins building belongs to the PTECH program. If possible, it will be relocated. 

What if a student chooses to leave the program because of the changes?

  • While it is hoped students will adjust to the changes and see them as positive, we understand that some might wish to leave the program. PTECH staff will work with students to address individual concerns and, if necessary, will work with the home district and assist the student in their return.

What degrees will be offered to incoming PTECH freshmen?

From SUNY Cobleskill

  • Agricultural Business
  • Agricultural Science
  • Agricultural Engineering Technology: Power Machinery
  • Animal Industry
  • Biological Technology
  • Environmental Studies
  • Fisheries and Wildlife Technologies
  • Sustainable Crop Production

 From FMCC

  • Business Accounting
  • Business Management
  • Business Marketing
  • Media Arts and Digital Technology
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Computer Networking and Cybersecurity
  • Electrical Technology
  • Health Information Records Management
  • Health Studies
  • Chemical Abuse Counseling
  • Radiologic Technology

 

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