Dansville students take part in Western New York Tech Academy Decision Day

WNY Tech Academy Decision Day highlights higher learning

The Express
Caption: (left to right) WNY Tech Academy 11th graders: Preston Bell (Dansville), Mackenzie Jacobs (Dansville), Isabelle Bradshaw (Avon) and Erik Schwab (LeRoy).

DANSVILLE — Some life choices are difficult and some are simple. For eight local students who attend the Western New York (WNY) Tech Academy, their choices are leading them in the next step toward their career goals.

On Jan. 26 and 28, these eight WNY Tech Academy 11th grade students selected their college pathway in which they wish to concentrate on: Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Social Media, and Supply Chain Management.

Due to a hybrid schedule, the event was held over the course of two days with two students joining remotely.

The WNY Tech Academy students and their home schools are: Preston Bell (Dansville), Isabelle Bradshaw (Avon), Jesse Churchill (Caledonia-Mumford), AJ Galligan (Warsaw), Koi Hennig (Dansville), Mackenzie Jacobs (Dansville) Erik Schwab (LeRoy) and Emma Will (Byron-Bergen).

Preston Bell is an 11th grader from Dansville. He shared why he enrolled in this program.

“When I learned about the WNY Tech Academy from my home school, I thought this would be a good opportunity for me. I plan to finish my college degree and then enter the military,” Bell said.

Lindsay Warner is the WNY Tech Academy Work-based Learning Coordinator and Business Teacher. She explained the process.

“Each student completed a number of self-interest surveys and personality quizzes to learn more about themselves and how they like to work. Although the pandemic has prevented us from exploring careers on site this year, this group has prepared for the essential steps in securing a job by developing resumes and cover letters,” Warner said. “Each student applied and completed a mock interview with the help of HR professionals, program mentors, and long-time supporters Rebecca McGee of Liberty Pumps and Michelle Hoffman of Bonduelle.”

Joe Englebert, interim Principal of the WNY Tech Academy, noted how these students have advanced their skills and are ready to move to the next step in their academic track.

“These eight students are ready to advance their academic career with the selection of their college pathway. I am confident that each of these students will be a success as they pursue their college degree,” Englebert said.

The WNY Tech Academy is a Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH), supporting students grades 9-14. This school serves 13 regional school districts through a curriculum that places a strong emphasis on hands-on, project-based learning to prepare students for high-skill, financially stable careers in growth industries. Students attending the WNY Tech Academy will complete all necessary coursework for a New York State Regents Diploma as well as earn an Associate of Applied Science degree through Genesee Community College at no cost.

The Genesee Community College (GCC) Accelerated College Enrollment Program (ACE) is a partnership between GCC and Western New York high schools to provide college courses to secondary students during the school day. These programs offer accelerated high school students the opportunity to enroll in college level courses and to earn college credits from GCC while still in high school.

Ed Levinstein is the GCC ACE Programs Associate Dean. He shared why Decision Day is so important to these students.

“After about two years of learning about the degree programs offered through WNY Tech Academy and GCC, the students are now making the commitment to one program and what we hope will be a very successful career. This is a huge step for anyone to take, especially for an 11th grader. Once they finish 12th grade at WNY Tech Academy, these students will take the rest of their courses at GCC,” Levinstein said. “With the help of the WNY Tech Academy administration, the ACE Programs staff and several dedicated faculty advisors, students will complete their degree and be ready for work. GCC’s role in this is to provide whatever support we can to WNY Tech Academy and each student including tutoring, advising and encouragement. We are proud to be part of this program that has already graduated several students who are now working in their chosen field or furthering their studies.”

The WNY Tech Academy is a Genesee Valley BOCES Program. GV BOCES operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services.