By Liz Witbeck
For adults looking to change careers or become
more specialized in their field, the Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex (WSWHE)
Board of Cooperative Educational Services
(BOCES) provides several programs.
“These programs are designed to get people into
a better spot from an employment perspective,”
said Doug Leavens, director of career and technical
education at WSWHE BOCES.
There are many daytime career and technical
education classes to choose from. Adults may enroll
in programs such as cosmetology, auto body repair,
criminal justice, landscaping, early childhood
education, information technology, and welding.
BOCES offers night and evening classes for
those who have daytime obligations. Classes
include security guard certification, trade mathematics,
AC circuit theory, and residential wiring.
For those interested in health professions,
BOCES offers a variety of classes. They offer
programs to become an LPN and a CNA . There
are medical billing and administrative assistant
programs, as well as phlebotomy technician
programs. Online healthcare courses are offered
through Health Ed Today.
Classes are offered for adults to learn basic computer
instruction. Those include Microsoft Word
and Microsoft Excel. These are great classes for
adults with careers that require computer knowledge,
or those who want to learn for personal use.
Adults who need additional preparation in basic
math and reading can take classes at BOCES. Study
sessions are available at a BOCES classroom, as
well as a home preparation course to give adults
the basic literacy skills they need to be part of the
BOCES continues to add new programs that
reflect the constantly changing economy and need
for emerging skills in the region.
“We target the things that people in our region
really need,” said Leavens. “That way the programs
we offer will be beneficial to our local economy. We
don’t want to offer programs that people like, but
aren’t really useful.”
New programs include the Adult Machine Tool
Technology Program, in collaboration with the
Workforce Investment Board and area employers.
Phlebotomy and medical coding programs have been added to keep up with the new technologies
in the health field.
For those who believe they do not have the
money to afford an education, there are several
forms of financial assistance available. Local One-
Stop Centers provide funding for some students.
Students with disabilities may qualify for funding
under the ACCE SS-VR. The GI Bill provides financial
assistance to military veterans.
People who are looking to change careers or
upgrade their skills in a current field will find what
they are looking for at the Adult Education Program
at WSWHE BOCES.
“We help bridge the gap between what local
employers need and what skills people need,” said
Leavens. “When unemployment is higher, it might
be that you need to be retrained in a different skill
in order to be competitive in the market. A general
education is great, but industries are really looking
for people who can do a certain skill. People
need targeted training and skills that employers
are looking for.”
Classes are held throughout the year, with many
classes running multiple times over the course
of the year. Students can enroll on a full-time or
part-time basis. Classes can be completed in as
little as nine months.
Classes are conveniently held in two locations:
the F. Donald Myers Education Center, at 15 Henning
Road, in Saratoga Springs; or the Southern
Adirondack Education Center, at 1051 Dix Ave. in
For more information including how to enroll,