Excellence in Action Spotlighting: Questar III BOCES Rensselaer Educational Center, Criminal Justice Program of Study

The Criminal Justice program of study was developed in response to labor market needs and learner interest at the Questar III BOCES Rensselaer Educational Center in Troy, NY. According to the New York State Department of Labor’s long-term occupational employment projections for the region, careers as detectives and criminal investigators, police and sheriff’s patrol officers, and security guards are all projected to grow significantly between 2014 and 2024. To prepare learners for these careers work-based learning is a core element of the program of study. All seniors are required to complete a minimum of 25 hours at an employer-sponsored internship.

“The instructor, Amy Gillett, has worked tirelessly with industry and post-secondary partners to offer high-quality experiences that prepare students for different careers in the Criminal Justice field. Students leave with a strong knowledge base and many industry credentials that help prepare them for both the workforce and college,” said Dr. Danielle Bouton-Wales, Director of Career and Technical Education at Questar III BOCES

Learners are also able to earn industry certifications in the areas of private security, corrections and public safety dispatching, as well as several Federal Emergency Management Agency certifications, often gaining immediate employment in the field after graduation while attending a postsecondary institution. 

In 2016, after learning that surrounding counties had a shortage in public safety telecommunicators or dispatchers — those responsible for receiving and responding to telephone or other electronic requests for emergency assistance — the program ensured that an instructor was trained and certified to prepare learners for this career.        

Learners working toward earning the Public Safety Telecommunicator I Certification will work with the same equipment they would use on the job, such as a two-station computer system or 911 simulator.

Last year, all Questar III Criminal Justice students from REC graduated high school, participated in work-based learning, earned an industry-recognized credential and earned postsecondary credit. Learn more about the Criminal Justice program, at Questar III BOCES Rensselaer Educational Center and the 2019 award winners.


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