‘8 to Great’ gives students glimpse of BOCES

Herkimer eighth-graders got a taste of life after middle school on Tuesday during their “8 to Great” visit to Herkimer BOCES.

Students were greeted by BOCES School to Careers students, who did an icebreaker activity with the eighth-graders. Students then had the chance to tour all the different programs offered at Herkimer BOCES, including the VP-Tech program.

While most of the career and technical education programs offered at BOCES begin in 11th grade, the VP-Tech program starts in ninth grade, explained middle school guidance counselor Suzanne O’Brien.

“For the students who are interested in that program, it was good for them to see it firsthand,” Mrs. O’Brien explained.

Read more: “VP-Tech applications due in March

For other students who are planning to enroll in a BOCES program as a junior, seeing the programs firsthand can help them stay focused on their goals.

“It helps to keep them motivated,” Mrs. O’Brien said. “They know they have to have the right number of credits to be able to go to BOCES, so this reminds them to keep working toward that goal.”

The visit also showcased the wide variety of career and technical education programs available to Herkimer students.

“Some of the students were surprised by how many options there were,” Mrs. O’Brien commented. “They saw a house being built; they learned about some of the skilled trades; not everybody is going to end up going to college, so there are a lot of opportunities at BOCES for our students.”

Parents who would like to learn more about BOCES programs can attend the Herkimer BOCES Open House from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 13. The facility is at 352 Gros Boulevard in Herkimer.