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BOCES/Gault partnership offers innovative technical education program
The program enables students to learn the technical skills of repairing modern vehicles while being integrated into the various departments of a modern, full-scale dealership.

The partnership, which got underway at the start of this school year, enables BOCES to offer professional, real-world learning experiences that cannot be replicated in simulated job settings and classrooms. These actual job experiences are great motivators for learning as they allow students to realize first-hand the relevance of their academic and CTE studies by working in an authentic environment where the skills are critical. Additionally, such partnerships with businesses often lead to job and college internship opportunities for students. It also facilitates the teaching and practice of interpersonal skills and attitudes important to employers and customers in the real work environment. 

Broome-Tioga BOCES’ two-year automotive program has been in existence since the early 1970’s, undergoing continuous improvements and updates to keep pace with the changes in technology related to the automotive field. Partnerships such as this are the next step. First-year students attend classes at BOCES’ automotive facility on the main campus at 435 Glenwood Road, where they learn the basics involved in the industry. In their second year, the attend class at the Gault dealership honing skills and expanding their knowledge working side-by-side with professionals in the field.

Connie Gault, general manager of the Toyota Scion dealership, said the partnership is a great way for her business and employees to invest in education and give back to the community. She said the benefits are a two-way street, however, providing unique learning opportunities for students as well as the promise of an excellent pool of potential future employees for dealerships throughout the region.

BOCES has provided cutting-edge technology for students to use in the program, including a cart of Chrome Book lap tops. The instructor, Courtney Benjamin, is using the Chrome Books to host a paperless classroom where students will be able to access and complete all studies and assignments online.

BOCES’ automotive program is certified by the National Automotive Technicians’ Education Foundation (NATEF) through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).