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01/18/2011
Ballston Spa Collaborates With Hudson Valley Community College to Offer Dual Program at TEC-SMART
Students given opportunity to prepare for Clean Technologies & Sustainable Industries Photo Available

(press release issued by Ballston Spa Central School District)

Ballston Spa Students at TEC-SMART
BALLSTON SPA – JANUARY 18, 2011 Students from Ballston Spa High School will now have the opportunity to attend classes at Hudson Valley Community College's TEC-SMART facility in Malta, while earning both high school and college credit. School officials have announced that the district is partnering with Hudson Valley to create and implement a rigorous program that will allow students to earn their high school diploma and over 20 college credits concurrently.

The program will take place at the TEC-SMART facility located at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority's Saratoga Technology + Energy Park® (STEP®) in Malta. TEC-SMART was created as a joint initiative between Hudson Valley CC and NYSERDA.

Preparing students for jobs that do not yet exist in a world where information is growing exponentially requires educational experiences that provide new tools for teaching, curriculum, assessment and professional development. Joseph P. Dragone, Ph.D., Superintendent of the Ballston Spa CSD, said "The implementation of this new model not only emphasizes the importance of collaboration with higher education and business partners, but also exemplifies college and career readiness and how schools must change to prepare students for 21st Century learning and the global workforce."

The program is designed for students entering the 11th grade to complete coursework focusing on the emerging careers in Clean Technologies and the related Sustainable Industries. Students will attend half day sessions at the TEC-SMART facility and the other half of the day at Ballston Spa High School. The students will complete their high school credits while also earning up to 11 college credits in the first year of the program.

The second year coursework will also include opportunities for an internship in collaboration with industries and partners located within, or affiliated with, the STEP campus. Students will complete up to a total of 14 credit hours the second year, as well as their mandated high school credits, and will graduate from high school with over 20 college credit hours.

"The Ballston Spa Central School District is ahead of the curve in its efforts to familiarize high school students with clean technologies, using state-of-the-art resources in their own backyard. The college's TEC-SMART facility will prove to be the perfect classroom for students headed for 21st Century employment. We're excited about this new partnership and will continue to develop programs that reach high school students," said Andrew Matonak, president of Hudson Valley Community College.

Among a variety of unique learning experiences, the "Clean Technologies and Sustainable Industries" curriculum includes Ballston Spa High School coursework in Sustainable Design, Exploration of Nanotechnology and Nanoeconomics. The college level coursework includes Introduction to Wind Power and Photovoltaic Systems Theory and Design, being offered by Hudson Valley instructors. The program will continue to develop new curriculum and learning opportunities as the industry evolves over the coming years. Additionally, as the program develops, there will be significant opportunities for the participation of students from other school districts in the region.

NYSERDA President Francis J. Murray said, "NYSERDA salutes the leaders of the Ballston Spa school district for offering students the chance to explore opportunities in clean energy industries. By working cooperatively with the world-class TEC-SMART facility, they are giving Ballston Spa students a head start into the cutting-edge fields that will help create the jobs of the future."

F. Michael Tucker, President and CEO of the Center for Economic Growth, added that this two-year program, and the unique collaboration between Ballston Spa CSD, Hudson Valley CC and NYSERDA will be "invaluable to the region as it expands with businesses focusing on these emerging technologies and their needs to have students prepared for the 21st Century workforce."

"Ballston Spa's program will play an important role in demonstrating the value of collaboration between New York's education system and industry in creating high-tech jobs. nfrastructure located its Technology Innovation Center in STEP to bring a blossoming 21st Century New York workforce closer to its customers. This program does just that," said Daniel Pickett III, Chairman and CEO of nfrastructure.

The Ballston Spa CSD has become a leader in the development of STEM learning in K-12 education, especially in the creation of partnerships with business and higher education via their Partnership for Innovation in Education program, through which the district has developed a variety of new courses, curricula and enrichment opportunities for students.

For additional information, please contact Stuart Williams, Coordinator of Community Relations, Ballston Spa CSD at 884-7195 ext. 1305 or swilliams@bscsd.org.