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Proposed Program Would Give Students More Pathways In TV Production, English

Students from the college TV studio visited with students in the high school's TV production class in May.

Students from the college TV studio visited with students in the high school's TV production class in May.

OSWEGO, NY – At Tuesday’s Oswego school board meeting, members heard a proposal that would give students interested in the communication field a boost.

Students from the college TV studio visited with students in the high school's TV production class in May.
Students from the college TV studio visited with students in the high school’s TV production class in May.

About a year ago, Jamie Sykut brought forth the idea of Career and Technical Education diploma endorsement – an academic honors program.

Sykut teaches technology at OHS and oversees the TV production at the school’s television studio WBUC.

Students can now go through the TV program sequence that is set up and be awarded with a credential after completing it.

The CTE endorsement offers a lot of opportunities for students. It is meant for students that complete a course, or pathway of study, in the high school. It’s not an alternative to graduation. It’s an added kind of bonus, like a Regents exam plus something extra. So when a student graduates and gets their Regents diploma, they get a little seal on there that says they completed a certain program.

Now, Sykut hopes to augment the program even further.

“In March, New York State Education Department approved our TV production course,” he told the board Tuesday night. “Along those same lines, trying to introduce more opportunities for our students at the high school, Kim Nelson and I talked about what else could we do in TV production. We came up with the idea of trying to come up with a class that can introduce more of the ELA curriculum and we wanted to try to introduce a new course.”

The course would be digital communications.

“It does meet the Common Core standards for the 12th grade English credit that students need to graduate,” Sykut said. “It’s designed to deliver senior level English.”

The students wouldn’t have to take one of the other English offerings in 12th grade. There’s no regents associated with the 12th grade English classes, he explained.

“The idea behind this is that it would be offered during the TV production class. So if a student already took a year of TV production, they could next take this course,” he said. “We hope to start this next fall. This is just not a hands-on work with the camera class. We’re hoping digital communications would be more English based. And any big assignments that you think of in 12th grade English are also completed within this digital communications class.”

Students would still have to write a senior paper. But, it would be more focused on a college and career ready skills; skills that they might be interested in pursing after high school.

“We have a lot of kids, it seems like the number keeps increasing, who are interested in pursuing communications in college. So that was kind of the background where this started from,” Nelson said. “This is a work in progress. This class is modeled as a career setting. It would be valuable for the kids to have this experience prior to entering college or the workforce.”

Course work would also cover things such as resume writing and job interview skills.

The students have to be able to work on their own. And, they would have assigned papers and projects, although in this class it would be more video based.

“It’s almost like an elective based English, but instead of awarding elective English credit it would actually be their senior year of English,” Sykut explained. “This would be an option for students, ‘you are interested in this for a career and want to explore more in it, take this for your English 12 offering so you can explore further.’”

He believes “about 10 or so” students would enroll in the course for next fall. But the number could go up a little bit, he added.

The resolution will be placed on the board’s Oct. 20 agenda.