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Learning Technology Grant Program Overview: Orange-Ulster BOCES

Award Years: 2021-2024

College Experiences, Career Exploration, and Civic Engagement (CEx3): Online with Personalized Support

The target audience is high school students with a special focus on students with IEPs or 504 Plans, English language learners/multilingual learners, and economically disadvantaged students. Our goal is to serve 419 high school students and 162 educators over the three years of this program.
Our consortium is made up of 17 rural and suburban districts, four private schools and one BOCES. Our consortium covers schools with high numbers of English Language Learners/Multilingual Learners (on average 7% ELLs regionally, however some districts have 60 to 100% ELLs), Students with Disabilities (SWD 16% region-wide) and economically disadvantaged students (46% region-wide). Three of our schools are TSI schools. Fifty three percent of the students in our region are of color. The number of high school students completing early college courses in our region is very low. Our intention is to increase the participation in these courses. CEx3 is designed to provide experiences in early college coursework which is personalized to allow all high school students to participate and to break down barriers to early college course completion.
All 17 of our component districts and four of the private (religious and independent schools in the OU BOCES region have agreed to join the OU BOCES Learning Technology Grant Consortium. 

A description of the program

Orange-Ulster BOCES (OU BOCES) is putting technology at the forefront of learning with digital literacy, multilingual learning, and access to college, career, and civic readiness experiences and skills through online learning with an emphasis on personalization.  Educational research documents that strong digital literacy and early college experiences provide students with rich and varied opportunities to engage in rewarding and successful experiences in college, career, and the community. 
To that end, this program, entitled College Experiences, Career Exploration, and Civic Engagement (CEx3) Online with Personalized Support, opens the door to multilingual early college experiences (CE), career exploration (CE), and civic engagement (CE) by providing personalized learning supports to students and professional learning to the educators who are providing the personalization. Our program brings the three CE’s together in an online platform offering live synchronous and asynchronous experiences that allow students to meet three CE goals and to expand their digital literacy in all three areas.  Students participating in the CEx3 program will have access to early college courses with a special focus on multilingualism, live online career exploration seminars, and opportunities to serve the community through digital civic engagement projects. All of the CE areas benefit from our digital Personalized Virtual Learning Center, which supports students with live online tutoring and project specific drop-in help Monday through Friday afternoons after the school day is over as well as on Saturday and Sunday mornings. 
The consortium led by OU BOCES has developed two large goals for this program based upon regional needs. To summarize those needs: students in OU BOCES Consortium region are participating in and completing far fewer early college courses than the average in the state; multilingual learners, students of color, students with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged students experience early college at even lower rates than the overall population of students; our local economy has shifted and new careers, many of them technologically based, are emerging in this changing economy; and our districts have high percentages of ELLs, students with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged students. 
In view of these strong needs and the research cited above, we have developed the following goals and objectives:
Goal I.  To expand opportunities for OU BOCES Consortium students in grades 9-12 to gain college level experiences that are: personalized; welcome a wide range of learners; use digital resources; and connect college, career, and civic engagement to support the learning and cultivate persistence in college courses.
Goal II.  To expand the capacity of teachers, administrators, and teacher assistants to teach and support early college courses in a manner that is personalized; welcomes a wide range of learners; uses digital resources; and connects college, career, and civic engagement to support the learning of the college course objectives.

Contact information