Oswego County BOCES’ (OCB) career and technical center was the feature article in the February edition of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) High Schools That Work newsletter.
The article, about imbedding literacy into the career/technical classroom curriculum to support student success, highlighted the OCB center’s school-wide literacy campaign.
According to Ron Camp, OCB’s Director of Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Alternative Programs, technical content in CTE textbooks and manuals is the equivalent of a foreign language to most students, and they do not automatically know how to read and write technical content.
Camp, a certified reading teacher, recognized the need to help students understand the technical content and vocabulary in their classroom by making literacy an integral and intentional part of every career and technical lesson. Students use literacy journals and complete research projects specific to their CTE program as well as read a minimum of 200 pages of content-related technical journals and manuals. Camp believes that by raising standards and expectations in the classroom, students will rise to the challenge and the success rate serves to prove his point.
OCB’s success on core content exams for the career and technical classes showed remarkable increases in student achievement, including an across the board increase in the pass rate on technical exams.
For example, the Early Childhood Education class’s National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) written exam increased from a pass rate of 25.1 percent to 100 percent in a single year. Other programs saw similar increases following the first full year of the literacy campaign.
This is not the first time the OCB career and technical education programs have been recognized for their success and student achievement by the SREB.
In 2010, OCB’s center earned the High Schools That Work (HSTW) Gold Improvement Award. OCB was one of only 12 schools in the nation to receive the Gold Improvement Award that year and the first school in New York State to ever achieve the distinction.
To earn the recognition, OCB increased their mean scores on the HSTW Assessment reading, mathematics and science tests by at least ten points from 2008 to 2010, and met the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) criteria of the Federal No Child Left Behind Act or a graduation rate of at least 85 percent.
HSTW is an effort-based school improvement initiative founded on the conviction that most students can master rigorous academic and career/technical studies if school leaders and teachers create an environment that motivates students to make the effort to succeed.
To read the SREB’s HSTW February newsletter, follow this link http://publications.sreb.org/2012/12V04w.pdf, and for more information about OCB’s career and technical education programs, contact Mr. Camp at 315-963-4251 or [email protected]