Five seniors in the Automotive Technology program at the Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES Career and Technical Education Center at Belmont are all planning to continue their educations by pursuing associate's degrees at the University of Northern Ohio in Lima, Ohio. The five BOCES Automotive Technology students are: George Flanagan (Genesee Valley Central School), Eric Harrison (Whitesville C. S.), Wayne Kemp (Scio C. S.), Jason Norton (Genesee Valley C. S.), and Cody Shields (Scio C. S.). Four plan to attend UNOH during the coming year. One plans to enroll after working a year to save up some money.
Pictured left to right are: Jason Norton (Genesee Valley C. S.), Cody Shields (Scio C. S.), Eric Harrison (Whitesville C. S.), George Flanagan (Genesee Valley Central School), and Wayne Kemp (Scio C. S.).
Surprisingly, their decisions to attend the school -- which is located more than 400 miles from the BOCES Center -- were not made in concert with one another. Wayne Kemp said, "No, it’s not like we talked about it or like we’re really good friends. It just kind of worked out that way. George and I visited the school back in October and I really liked the school and the location. It’s in a city, but it’s like a country city because everything is more spread out. I don’t think the other three guys have ever even been there."
George Flanagan offered, "I decided to go there because it fit well with my schedule. I’m joining the National Guard after graduation (leaving for boot camp on July 3) and I’m planning to start up at the school (UNOH) in January."
The other three teens confirmed they had not yet visited the school.
The UNOH College of Technologies offers associate degrees and diploma programs. These programs take from 36 weeks to two years to complete. Classes are held Monday through Thursday in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings. Enrollment in the technical courses of the College of Technologies is limited to 20 students. Graduates of the College of Technologies programs are trained to perform entry-level skills in their field(s) of endeavor. Specific programs offered include: automotive, diesel - medium/heavy trucks, high performance motorsports, alternative fuels, agricultural equipment, and HVAC. Three of the BOCES students plan to pursue a degree in high performance motorsports. The other two plan to pursue a combination track of study in automotive, diesel, and alternative fuels.
Costs at the UHOH College of Technologies are approximately $10,000 per year for tuition and another $3,520 for room. The school does not provide meals.
According to BOCES Automotive Technology Instructor William Sortore, "This is very high achieving class. It’s one of the highest number of students I’ve ever had (in a class) who have decided to go on to further their education. Out of my ten seniors, eight are planning to go on to school. Five will be at UNOH, two at Alfred State (College), and another one at JCC (Jamestown Community College)."
He revealed, "This class also did extremely well on the NOCTI (National Occupational Competency Testing Institute) Exams we took recently. In past years, I’ve only had three students pass the NOCTI, which involves a written test (1.5 hours) along with a practical exam (3 hours). This year, all but one of my students passed the test. So, I’m not surprised that so many of them have decided to continue their educations."
Along with their big accomplishments and plans to further their educations, a few of the young mechanics are also entertaining some big dreams. Jason Norton revealed, "I’d like to have my own race car shop someday."
Others are setting their sights a bit lower. George Flanagan shared, "I hope to find a good paying job and if I can’t do that, I’ll stay in the Army."
Wayne Kemp was somewhere in the middle when he said, "I’d like to go to work for Chrysler or have my own shop to build high performance engines."