BOCES Program in the High School Allows Hands on Career Experience


Students check in after arriving back from BOCES.

Kristy Lopez, Copy Editor

The Orange-Ulster BOCES Career and Technical Education (CTE) program is offered to rising juniors and seniors who aim to pursue a career in trade. Students may begin their application process during their sophomore year, where they must complete the prerequisites of an official visitation, GPA requirements, and demonstrations of good behavior and responsibility.

Selected students are bussed to their respective campus in Goshen where they receive their classes in their chosen program. The time of your session typically depends on grade level and class choices. Juniors are usually transported for the p.m. session and seniors have the a.m. session. 

Choosing whether or not to consider opting into BOCES depends on a person’s goals and values regarding their future. Students should consider all of the opportunities that BOCES and Monroe-Woodbury High School offer to a student as they go through their educational career.

Crisalby Fermin, a junior in the BOCES Animal Science course, said, “BOCES is great for kids who want a more hands-on experience with their interests the school [M-W] can’t provide. The teachers and students are great and super-friendly people!”

Many students believe BOCES gives them an opportunity to get a job after graduation due to its networking opportunities, while others prefer to remain in Monroe-Woodbury to pursue other passions.

For example, there is a Computer Networking program that offers connections to outside jobs such as being a network technician at Legoland in Goshen.

One of the main problems that is considered when applying to BOCES is time constraints. Sometimes student who consider applying to the BOCES program drop out as they realize that they lose half of their school day in junior year, as well as the majority of their day during senior year. 

This lack of time results in there not being enough available periods in one’s schedule to take advanced courses such as AP classes and world languages. If someone had an a.m. session, BOCES would take away periods 1 through 6. And if someone were to have the p.m. session, periods 6 to 9 would be used for the session. 

Such a constraining schedule can make students feel overwhelmed and unready as a junior. A junior, Alexia Joseph said, “I was especially interested in the pharmaceutical program, but I didn’t want to rush into studying and getting a job so early. I wanted to try to relax and make good memories instead of making money so early in my life.” 

“I think it’s just up to a person’s preferences and capabilities. The negatives of BOCES aren’t really definitive cons since people have different goals and limits,” said a junior, Glenn Su. 

A sophomore, Ted Vicuna, is taking all these aspects into consideration for his decision.

“Right now, [BOCES] seems like a cool program. I’m still thinking about joining it,” said Vicuna. “I’m mostly hesitating because I don’t want to miss a lot of my high school life.”