Eastern Long Island Academy of Applied Technology Launches
“We are extremely excited to introduce The Academy because we believe these enhanced programs will provide our college-bound students with a solid foundation for career paths,” said Dr. Julie Lutz, ESBOCES Deputy Superintendent of Educational Services. “We listened to students and parents, and believe a newly-focused college, career and technical education-based curriculum will fill a void that has been missing in Suffolk County. The ultimate goal is to close the gap between rigorous, relevant, STEM-based skills now necessary for success in college and the traditional academic coursework that is currently being offered at the high school level.”
In 2012, Eastern Suffolk BOCES commissioned a task force that consisted of 25 stakeholders from various industries, including school district personnel, higher education, department of labor, the Long Island STEM Hub, Long Island Association and varied industry representatives. The task force focused on what was going to be needed to transform the agency’s career and technical education program into one that would better meet the needs of every high school student preparing for college or a career directly out of high school. Task force members heavily researched and analyzed pivotal matters that currently affect college-and-career-ready education. Students and school administrators were also interviewed and provided feedback throughout the year-long process.
The Academy will incorporate high level STEM-based classes into the curriculum. Three new courses will be introduced next year, including Engineering, Advanced Manufacturing and Veterinary Technician. The Academy is currently offering the following courses: Art Design and Visual Communication, Residential Construction and Home Improvement, Computer Technology and Repair, Culinary & Restaurant Operations, Dental Assisting, Early Childhood Education, Electrical Trade and Alternative Energy, Fashion Merchandising and Design, Licensed Practical Nursing, Pharmacy Technician, Professional Photography / Digital Photography and Television, Video and Digital Film Production and over 20 more courses.
“We will continue to work with our component school districts throughout this exciting process in order to provide as many students as possible with the opportunity to enroll in the variety of programs that The Academy will offer,” said Dr. Lutz.
In conjunction with the new focus of The Academy, ESBOCES will launch the Suffolk STEM School in September of 2014. The school, which will have an Engineering and Applied Science focus, is a partnership with Stony Brook University, Brookhaven National Labs, the Long Island Matrix of Science and Technology and the Long Island STEM Hub. It will incorporate rigorous and relevant project-based learning, and a strong emphasis on engineering with job shadowing, work experiences, and internships as a key component.
As part of the task force recommendations to expand the delivery of technical education in the region, Eastern Suffolk BOCES worked todevelop a model for a rigorous technical education program based in district high schools. Approval to offer an in-district Academy program was recently granted by the New York State Education Department. This will allow for an innovative framework for delivery to exist within component school district buildings, reducing costs and saving travel time and expense for the participating districts.
“It is our hope that this new model will encourage more students to take advantage of the college and career-focused learning that is part of The Academy,” added Dr. Lutz.