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New VP-TECH students participate in summer bridge
program including tour of Herkimer College

July 27, 2017




VP-TECH students pose for a photo at Herkimer College
Incoming Valley Pathways in Technology Early College High School ninth-graders pose for a photo during a tour of Herkimer College on July 13 as part of their summer bridge program at Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES.



HERKIMER – Why did some local students in the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES region who will be ninth-graders in the fall recently receive their college identification cards from Herkimer College?

It’s because when they return to school in September, they will be starting both their first day of high school and their first day of college as part of the Valley Pathways in Technology Early College High School, VP-TECH teacher Andrew Carpenter said.

The students received their college identification cards as part of a tour of Herkimer College during the VP-TECH summer bridge program from July 11-14.

“It’s to have them all come together from different schools and get to know each other and feel comfortable with their decision to come here,” Carpenter said, of the summer bridge program. “I think it’s a great idea to just get them more acquainted with each other.”

VP-TECH students spend four to six years in the program – leaving it with a Regents diploma, an associate degree in quality assurance from Herkimer College, a certification in advanced manufacturing and connections with local businesses.

“It’s a wonderful partnership between us and BOCES,” Herkimer College Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Bill McDonald said.

VP-TECH launched at the beginning of the 2015-16 school year with ninth-graders from Herkimer BOCES component school districts. A second class of students joined for the current 2016-17 school year, and 27 more students are joining this year.

The summer bridge program is a four-day, all-day experience at VP-TECH that focuses on icebreaking activities and allowing students to get to know each other, VP-TECH Principal Brittany DerCola said.

“It’s low key and fun to kind of ease their anxiety about coming to a new place for the first time,” she said. “So when they walk in, in September, this way at least they know their peers.”

Three sophomore students – Olivia Pickett, of Little Falls; Olivia Talarico, of Frankfort-Schuyler; and Zach Janis, of Frankfort-Schuyler – volunteered to help during the summer bridge program.

“They’re stepping up and really becoming leaders,” DerCola said.

In addition to the tour of Herkimer College, the summer bridge program included chances to use VP-TECH technology such as 3-D printers, teambuilding activities, games, fun with water balloons and a question-and-answer session with the sophomore volunteers, Carpenter said.

Near the beginning of the Herkimer College tour on July 13, McDonald spoke to the students, and he later showed them a quality assurance classroom they will be learning in for the program.

“Thank you so much, and you should be proud of the work you’re about to do,” he said, to the students.

After students toured the campus, they received their college identification cards.

“It’s a big accomplishment getting it so early,” said VP-TECH student Jordan Corsette, of Central Valley.

Jordan said there was a lot to do on the tour, and the summer bridge program has helped him look forward to VP-TECH – including earning an associate degree from Herkimer College.

“It’s going to be good to get a higher education,” he said.

VP-TECH student Holly Allen, of Dolgeville, said the summer bridge program was helpful.

“I was kind of nervous at first, but I met some really good people and made some new friends,” she said.

Holly said it felt good to get her college identification card.

“I’m really excited to become a college student,” she said.



VP-TECH students touring Herkimer College
Herkimer College Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Bill McDonald (left) speaks to incoming Valley Pathways in Technology Early College High School ninth-graders their tour of Herkimer College on July 13 as part of their summer bridge program at Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES.


VP-TECH students led on tour by Herkimer College graduate
Herkimer College Class of 2017 graduate Taj Parker (right) shows incoming Valley Pathways in Technology Early College High School ninth-graders a Herkimer College cafeteria as part of a tour group he led on July 13 as part of the students’ summer bridge program at Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES.


VP-TECH students visit the Herkimer College quality assurance classroom
Incoming Valley Pathways in Technology Early College High School ninth-graders sit in the quality assurance classroom at Herkimer College for the first time during a tour on July 13. VP-TECH students will earn an associate degree in quality assurance when they complete the program.








 
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