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BOCES Launches Real World Learning Projects For High School Students

A new service learning initiative at the SWBOCES Center for Career Services in Valhalla is starting soon. Here, the Hudson River Estuary Project coordinated with the Center for the Urban River at Beczak and Sarah Lawrence College.
A new service learning initiative at the SWBOCES Center for Career Services in Valhalla is starting soon. Here, the Hudson River Estuary Project coordinated with the Center for the Urban River at Beczak and Sarah Lawrence College. Photo Credit: Submitted

HARRISON, N.Y. -- Getting the new crop of high school graduates ready for the real world is behind the SWBOCES Center for Career Services in Valhalla.

Establishing everyday connections for students interested in one field or another is the idea behind the new service learning initiative.

Once only open to special education students, this opportunity is now available to the general education population.

The idea is to give students work-based learning hours beyond the classroom walls that will satisfy the New York State Education Department’s Career Development & Occupational Studies commencement credential.

Whether students are interested in architecture, landscape design or creating a sustainable garden, the idea is to give them the kind of experience that can extend their learning.

Upcoming projects include:

  • 8.5 hours on a proposed 9/11 memorial renovation project on Central Avenue in Hartsdale, which is currently under consideration by the Town of Greenburgh. ·
  • Three-day landscape project on the grounds of the BOCES campus that will introduce students to key landscape architectural concepts and design. ·
  • 8.5 hours working on the Hudson River Estuary Project, which is coordinated by the the Center for the Urban River at Beczak and Sarah Lawrence College and will involve hands-on work along the Hudson River as well as subsequent testing in a laboratory.

“The overall goal of the development of these new service learning projects was to give our local high school students a preview of a future career of interest,” said James Matera, Principal at SWBOCES.

The state mandate has expanded BOCES’ collaboration with local districts and satisfied the work-based learning hours that students will need to gain the CDOS commencement credential.

Matera said the center is also coordinating a number of job shadowing road trips for students who are interested in specific occupations, in addition to offering a vocational assessment for students in local districts who are not regularly attending the BOCES campus.

The campus also houses a new life skills training room where students can learn everyday skills in a simulated apartment setting that contains a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and laundry services.

Click here for more information on the initiative or call 914-761-3400.

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