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Academic Programs

CAPITAL DISTRICT EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY CENTER

Lucille A. Marion, Ph.D., Vice President/Executive Director

The Capital District Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) offers tuition-free academic and workforce development opportunities to economically disadvantaged and educationally under-prepared New York State residents 16 years and older. The main emphasis of the center is to help people acquire skills that will enable them to increase their effectiveness in society through a four-pronged approach: vocational programs, academic programs, counseling services, and employment services.

Vocational programs allow students to acquire employment skills so that they may increase their effectiveness on the job, gain a better job or secure initial employment. The programs involve students in hands-on learning. Tools and equipment are integrated with textbook and workbook instruction. On-the-job experience also is provided in most programs through internships, clinicals, or other work-based training experiences. Many of these programs include nationally recognized certification.

Academic programs help students improve their reading, writing, and math skills to enhance employability, to obtain a High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma, and/or to gain entrance to college. Very often, students at the center have two goals: to obtain a vocational skill and to achieve a HSE. Both are achievable through completion of a combination of EOC programs.

Counseling services help students overcome personal barriers to academic and vocational success, for example lack of child care, lack of suitable clothing or equipment, substance abuse, language/job skills deficiencies and poor work history. When necessary, referrals are made to appropriate agencies that may be of service to students for personal, family, financial, or other matters. Career counseling, testing, and assessment services are available to assist students in clarifying their educational goals and developing a career plan.

Employment services assist students with resume preparation, job applications, interviews, and job retention strategies. Courses designed to help students develop tools to seek employment are an integral part of the center's vocational programs. The center's Employment Services Center, initially funded by the New York State Education Department's Perkin's III allocation, has a staff of employment specialists to help individuals seek and obtain jobs through resume preparation and cover letter assistance, computer and Internet access, research assistance, job development and placement activities, and other job hunting aides.

Programs and services are offered at the Troy Center at 431 River Street, and at the Albany satellite at 30 North Russell Road (adjacent to the Westgate Shopping Plaza). A choice of morning, afternoon and evening programs are offered. Certificates of completion are issued to students when they have fulfilled the graduation requirements of their program(s).

Unique features are offered to make educational opportunities more accessible to the non-traditional learner. Programs are individualized to allow students to progress and learn according to their individual learning styles while maintaining the integrity of the requirements of graduation. Continuous enrollment for the majority of its academic and vocational programs offer students the ability to begin programs when they are ready to do so as well as to offer ongoing opportunities for employment as students complete programs. Support services including career assessment, employability skills, employment services, and life skills presentations, are provided so that adults can more easily return to school and/or transition to the workforce.

The eligibility for free education at the EOC is as follows:

  1. A resident of New York State for one year;
  2. 16 years of age (if officially excused from school) or older; and
  3. Evidence of educational and economic need.

The Capital District EOC is funded by the State University of New York through the University Center for Academic and Workforce Development. The EOC is a division of Hudson Valley Community College and is evidence of the college’s commitment to a total educational program for the community.

It is the policy of the EOC to provide equal opportunity in employment and education for all persons regardless of race, color, age, religion, creed, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, marital status, veteran status or political affiliation.

Academic Programs

Academic Enrichment
Academic Enrichment assists students in upgrading their reading and/or math skills to levels needed for entrance into other EOC academic and vocational programs. Students with reading and math levels that range from 5.0-9.0 are placed in the appropriate course. Critical reading and thinking skills, academic and vocational vocabulary acquisition, basic writing, basic math and study skills are the main areas that are stressed. Instruction is individualized to allow students to progress at their own pace as long as they are making satisfactory academic progress.

Vocational Foundations
This program assists students in improving their reading, language, and/or math skills to levels needed for entrance into other EOC vocational programs. This coursework, based in a workforce related context, includes reading comprehension, critical thinking skills, writing improvement, math computation and problem solving, calculator application, computer literacy and interaction. Program instruction is individualized to allow students to progress at their own pace as long as making satisfactory academic progress.

English as a Second Language (ESL)
The ESL program allows students with limited English proficiency the opportunity to master speaking, listening and writing skills in English. Students also receive instruction in reading, math, computer operation, and limited software applications. Students progress through the ESL program according to their own learning abilities and academic background.

High School Equivalency (HSE) Preparation
This program prepares students to pass the New York State High School Equivalency (HSE) examination. Students receive instruction in English grammar and usage, writing skills, social studies, science, literature and the arts, math, study skills and test taking skills. Students are assisted in submitting their application to take the state exam. In addition, students are offered the opportunity to take the official practice HSE examination to help determine their readiness.

College Preparation
This program assists students in gaining the prerequisite skills necessary for college entrance and success. All students receive educational guidance, preparatory course work, and college placement assistance. Students' goals are discussed and academic skills are assessed upon entry. Courses available are reading, writing, and algebra. Students progress through the program according to their own learning abilities and academic background.

Business Programs

Medical Office Administration
This program is designed to provide training in a variety of clerical support skills required for successful employment within a health care setting. Students will learn to prepare and maintain medical records, develop and maintain filing systems, process insurance data and claims, manage business financial transactions, maintain billing systems, enhance keyboarding skills, and utilize spreadsheet, database and word processing software programs. Additionally, students will demonstrate an understanding of procedural and diagnostic coding.
Prerequisite: High school diploma or GED/HSE and typing skills of 20 words per minute.

Service Programs

Cosmetology
The cosmetology program provides instruction involving a minimum of 1,000 hours of classroom, lab and salon-simulated skill training. Students are prepared to pass the New York State licensing examination. Instruction consists of theory, written exams, practical work on mannequins, demonstrations, instruction on basic hand and foot care, and lectures on the following areas of hair care: cutting, coloring, permanents, waving, relaxers, reconstruction perms, and styling. Clinic services and a state board simulation are additional components of the program. The program also offers computer training in personalized styling and salon management and study skills.

Cosmetology State Board Exam Preparation
This is designed to provide review and practice in preparation to take the New York State licensing examination in cosmetology. Only individuals who have already completed 1,000 hours of cosmetology instruction are eligible.

Culinary Arts
The Culinary program provides a course of study for those interested in entry-level positions in the food service industry. Students enrolled in the Culinary program gain experience in all rotations of the kitchen, including providing lunch for EOC students and staff and executing wait staff techniques. Preparation for the National Restaurant Association ServSafe exam is a component of the program. Advanced training includes theory and practice of hot food production, advanced desserts and entrees, and buffets. Students also receive instruction in related math skills.

Food Safety Training
This training prepares students to pass the National Restaurant Association Food Safety Manager Certification exam. Students become well-versed in the safe and proper handling of food, sanitary facilities and equipment, pest management, and food safety regulations and standards. The exam is given at the end of training.

Nursing Assistant
The Nursing Assistant program prepares students to pass the clinical evaluations and written examination to obtain New York State nursing home nurse aide certification. The program is divided between formal class lectures, audio-visual presentations, guest speakers, demonstration and skill training in a simulated hospital unit, visits to health related facilities and supervised clinical experience at a local geriatric health care facility. Instruction includes a minimum of 90 hours of theory and a minimum of 30 hours of clinical experience in a nursing home.

Technical Programs

Building Trades
The Building Trades program prepares individuals in the skills necessary for entry-level positions in the building construction and maintenance fields. Skill areas include carpentry, painting, electrical wiring, plumbing, masonry, dry wall, going green, energy efficiency and shop safety. OSHA training and certification, technical math skills and shop safety are components of the program. Instruction is individualized and provides hands-on practical experience.

Welding
This program prepares students in both theory and practice for the following types of welding: shielded metal arc, pipe, flux cored, oxyacetylene cutting gas metal arc (MIG), tungsten arc (TIG), and plasma arc cutting. Comprehensive training in flat, overhead and horizontal welding positions is provided. Hands-on instruction is emphasized with additional theory presented in textbook and workbook format. This program prepares graduates for the New York State DOT Certified Welding test and numerous American Welding Society certifications, which are given on site. OSHA training and certification and math skills are components of the program.

Welding Certification Upgrade
This upgrade program is designed to provide EOC welding graduates the opportunity to develop more advanced skills and competencies to obtain gainful employment or job promotion in the welding or construction related field. Students will learn theory and practice in electric arc welding, gas metal arc welding (Mig), gas tungsten arc welding (Tig), and plasma arc cutting. EOC graduates who have completed the Welding program and are NYS DOT 1" Steel Plate Certified, will complete the Welding Upgrade program upon passing the New York State 3/8" Steel Plate Certification Exam. Preparation for earning additional American Welding Society certifications also is provided.

Job Skills Programs

National Work Readiness Credential Exam Preparation
This exam prep course prepares individuals to pass the National Work Readiness Credential (NWRC) exam. Skills developed include the following: listening actively, speaking so others can understand, cooperating with others, solving problems and making decisions, observing critically, using math to solve problems, and reading with understanding. Individuals who successfully complete all four components of the exam obtain a nationally recognized certification that demonstrates to prospective employers that graduates have the knowledge and skills needed to be a successful entry-level worker.