BOCES, JCC offer pathway for business degree

Jefferson Community College in Watertown. Sydney Schaefer/Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — Jefferson-Lewis BOCES and Jefferson Community College have announced a new articulation agreement that will provide a faster and cost-effective pathway for students in the region to earn a business degree.

Students at the BOCES centers in Jefferson and Lewis counties who successfully complete their two-year program in Career & Technical Education will then have the opportunity to earn the associate of occupational studies degree in applied business studies from JCC beginning with the 2021-22 school year.

“This new program pathway will be good for students, good for families, good for area employers, and good for our community,” said BOCES District Superintendent Stephen J. Todd. “BOCES students will have the opportunity to earn a college degree more quickly and cost effectively than ever before, and they will be able to go right to work in our North Country communities with highly desired, highly marketable career skills. We are pleased and honored to partner with JCC in offering our students this exciting opportunity.”

The boards of BOCES and JCC came together in October 2020 to set joint priorities for the partnership, including creating pathways between the K-12 districts, BOCES, and JCC, while recognizing that employers, students and parents want clear pathways from education to employment.

In a 2021 survey conducted by JCC’s Office of Strategic Initiatives, when asked about anticipated hiring over the next five years and in-demand degrees, Business Administration and Applied Business Studies were among the top programs of interest among responding local employers. When asked about hiring difficulties over the past five years, over 30% of responding local employers indicated candidates had insufficient educational credentials, and over 47% of responding local employers indicated that the primary shortcoming among recent applicants was their technical skills.

Based on the research, BOCES and JCC developed an articulation agreement that results in students earning up to 20 credit hours toward the associate of occupational studies degree in applied business studies upon completion of a two-year CTE course during high school, at either the Howard G. Sackett Technical Center in Lewis County or Charles H. Bohlen, Jr. Technical Center in Jefferson County.

Earning these college credits brings no added cost for students or their families upon enrolling at JCC, saving them almost $5,000 on the cost of an AOS degree, according to the college, and high school juniors and seniors have the opportunity to take college courses at a heavily discounted rate through JCC’s EDGE program. Scholarships and financial aid are also available to help students with the remaining cost of the degree.

For the AOS in applied business studies degree, transferring BOCES credits and taking EDGE courses can equal over 50% in savings on the cost of this degree and also makes it possible for students to earn this degree in as little as one year.

This BOCES to JCC AOS agreement was signed on May 20 and is applicable beginning Fall 2021 for the 2021-2022 academic year. For more information on the program, call 315-777-9800 or email JCCdegree@boces.com.

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