First FCSD Students Complete Computer Program at Cayuga Community College – Oswego County Today
FULTON — This spring, 25 seniors from the Fulton City School District (FCSD) became the first students to complete a joint initiative at Cayuga Community College, helping them earn credit toward an information technology degree.
Launched in 2018, the Early College High School – Information Technology (ECHS-IT) program has created a pathway for students at FCSD’s G. Ray Bodley High School to earn college credit and experience a college culture while upon graduating from high school. Students can earn up to 38 college credits through the program.
Students who enrolled in Fall 2018 completed the ECHS-IT program with the conclusion of Cayuga’s Spring 2022 semester.
“We are incredibly proud of the first cohort of ECHS-IT students. Not only did they succeed in high school and college at the same time, but they did it during a global pandemic,” said Sarah Yaw, Director of K-12 Academic Pathways and Partnerships at Cayuga. “We are delighted to celebrate the completion of the program and look forward to their continued success.”
“I am so proud of this first cohort of students. They have not only taken advantage of all the opportunities and resources that our Early College High School program has to offer, but their input has also helped shape the composition of the program for the cohorts behind them. They were an amazing group of students to work with,” said ECHS Coordinator Sean Broderick.
Candidates are accepted into ECHS-IT on the basis of their academic performance, behavior, attendance and an interview with the program. Enrolled students begin earning credits through their high school’s Cayuga Advantage program before participating in an on-campus summer program for the first time. Students take classes on campus during their junior and senior years.
Students can earn enough credits to earn an associate’s degree in information technology in Cayuga after one year of college.
Seniors Reese Pierce and Matthew Firenze are among the students who graduated from the ECHS-IT program this spring and are both continuing their studies in the fall in Cayuga.
Pierce was among the first students to enroll in the program when he was a freshman, and said his experience building computers and coding with friends helped him adapt quickly to the expectations of the ECHS-IT.
Firenze joined the program a year later and caught up with the other students. Acknowledging he didn’t know what to expect upon joining the program, Firenze said he was nervous at first but quickly appreciated the program’s focus on technology.
“The program helps you get a deeper idea of what’s possible with computers, an appreciation of what they can do and how they work,” Firenze said. “As soon as I started it, I loved it. I want to work where I can do things, and a big part of understanding the role of computers is knowing how they come together and using that to create something new.
Pierce and Firenze encouraged other students interested in career fields such as computer science, information technology or game design to enroll in ECHS-IT.
“For anyone interested in information technology or other technology fields, this is the right program. You just have to keep moving forward, don’t give up. The rewards of being in the program increase with the time you put into it and the more work you put into it,” Pierce said.
In addition to earning college credit, the program also provides students with access to tutoring, financial aid counseling, workplace tours, and potential internships.
Cayuga also partners with FCSD, Hannibal Central School District, and Mexico Academy and Central School District for Early College High School – Health Sciences, a similar program that began in 2020. The program helps students earn credits in view of a degree in health sciences.
For more information on ECHS-IT, visit https://www.cayuga-cc.edu/academics/high-school-programs/echs/.
About Cayuga Community College
Founded in 1953, Cayuga Community College is one of 64 accredited institutions that make up the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Cayuga offers open access and an affordable gateway to higher education, with courses and degree programs offered at campuses in Auburn and Fulton, NY and online. Cayuga Community College provides a strong liberal arts foundation for further education and career preparation. The College also responds to identified community needs through targeted training and personal enrichment programs. By supporting academic excellence in a supportive learning environment, the College, a careful steward of human and fiscal resources, is a valuable asset to the development of our local, regional and global communities.
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