Broome-Tioga BOCES is seeing long-term interest in their courses

Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 8:47 PM EDT
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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) - With school back in session, there are many paths to pursue in the Southern Tier. There’s the traditional K-12 experience, more than one local higher education option and Broome-Tioga BOCES.

When it comes to BOCES and the over 25 courses, its popularity continues to grow.

“We offer several different CTE (career technical education) programs to try to get kids jobs in our local community and train them while they’re in high school,” said Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Tom McNair. He said they’ve seen about a 20 percent increase in growth over the last 10 years in the CTE programs.

“I think you build a quality program and they’ll come,” said McNair. “But, you know, college is expensive. Many of these students want jobs and skills before they get out of high school.

Many students realize the pros to having a hands-on experience for job placement. For example, Preston Gower is in his second year with BOCES and said they have an ongoing project with Habitat for Humanity.

“The first year of class we’re learning how to use the skills that we’re learning,” said Gower. During the second year, they apply those skills to actual projects, such as the house for the nonprofit.

Gower has been observing the popularity of the instruction since he began his journey.

“I got extremely lucky,” said Gower. “There were not a lot of kids that wanted to join carpentry that year. I got into the class. This year, there’s so many more that they’re just packing the room full with as many kids as they can.”

McNair said there’s also a waiting list to get access to BOCES.

“We’re really bursting at the seams,” said McNair. “Sometimes kids will take different courses if they can’t get into their first choice. If that doesn’t work, we try opening up and getting them into co-ops and things of that nature.”