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Dutchess BOCES Work Based Learning Program for Career Awareness

The BOCES Work Program provides job –related internship and shadowing experiences for high school students in the Alternative High School, or District-based classes. These students, who are recommended to the Program by their home districts through their IEP*, will learn many valuable job skills by going out into “the world of work” part-time one to five days a week.

Students are paired with a BOCES-trained Youth Aid to coach and mentor them at businesses who have agreed to partner with us to support this type of learning. Our job sites range from retail food and non-food stores, to restaurants, to offices, to Nursery Schools and Nursing Homes, among other sites. BOCES school vehicles and drivers transport students to and from work each day.

Our students’ progress towards meeting IEP Goals and Objectives are reported quarterly by our Youth Aides, who observe and determine success and challenges as students demonstrate and practice their work skills. Students also make progress in developing their skills in the “Four C’s”- communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity which are as vital to their future success as the tasks and skills themselves. Self-confidence and motivation often increase, students discover what they are interested in doing in the future and they become more employable due to their work experiences.

The Work Program establishes a link to the community that not only benefits our students but assists the public in seeing our hard-working students in a positive light, preparing for life as an adult. This program is in its 14th year, and has developed partnerships in many sites throughout the county.  BOCES recognizes each Employer Annually at an “Employer Recognition Event” at Vassar College, and the Poughkeepsie Galleria. Additionally, many of our exemplary student interns are honored throughout the year for their achievements with luncheons and awards sponsored by the Arlington-Poughkeepsie Rotary and TEG Federal Credit Union.

*Individual Education Program