94 Students Graduate from Early College Career Academy

The Early College Career Academy (ECCA), a partnership program between the WSWHE BOCES and SUNY Adirondack, held its Completion Ceremony on June 6, 2024. Ninety four students from 18 school districts were recognized in the company of family members, friends, WSWHE BOCES and SUNY Adirondack staff and faculty, BOCES Board of Education members and honored award presenters. 


This was the tenth class to complete this unique program that provides students with focused studies in the fields of Advanced Manufacturing, Business and Entrepreneurship, Information Technology: Computer Networking and Cybersecurity, and New Media. Students in the programs are exposed to the latest technologies used in these industries, earn industry-recognized certifications, and participate in work-based learning activities that include job shadowing, mentoring by industry experts and real-world industry challenge projects. In addition to acquiring job skills and industry knowledge, students also earn college credits toward an Associate Degree, while still in high school. 


Seventeen of the graduates were part of the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (PTECH) program. PTECH is a unique, six-year program that gives high school students the experiences, practical skills, qualifications and credentials they need to secure rewarding careers in technology-based industries. PTECH students start the program in middle school, continue through high school and into the next two years of college. 

SUNY Adirondack President, Dr. Kris Duffy, gave the opening address acknowledging the skills students gained from the program and how they completed high school differently than many of their peers. 

“Your maturity, your tenacity and willingness to step out of your comfort zone shows us just how special you are,” said Duffy. 

Awards were presented to several students for Citizenship, Leadership and a SkillsUSA Scholarship.

Ball Corporation Plant Manager, Cinthya Saldana, was the industry guest speaker. “Each of you has demonstrated resilience, strength, character, perseverance and excellence. As future leaders and change makers, you have a unique opportunity to make a positive impact in the world; whether through business ventures, community initiatives or advocacy efforts,” said Saldana. 

Four Maureen VanBuren Memorial Scholarships were also awarded. The scholarship is named after the late Maureen VanBuren, who was the Special Projects administrator for ECCA. Each year, the VanBuren family travels to the completion ceremony to deliver the scholarships. Awardees were Hayden Winslow (Advanced Manufacturing), Kierra Skaarup (Business & Entrepreneurship), Ashton LeGodais (Information Technology) and Riven Shoaff (New Media). Each received a scholarship for the “passion they have demonstrated to their field of study and their plan to further their education through college or technical school.” 

Graduates Carley Hoffis from the New Media program and Rian Thomas from the IT: Computer Networking and Cybersecurity program spoke about their time with ECCA, the program’s value, the learning and the friendships they built along the way. 

“This is a milestone that you should feel incredibly proud of because you have worked for it. We are all so proud of you,” said WSWHE BOCES District Superintendent, Dr. Turina Parker, who closed the ceremony.


“The possibilities for you are limitless. We truly believe that the skills, the knowledge and the passion that you have been given through your experiences in this program have prepared you to change the world.” 

Students will be continuing on to the workforce or additional college. The colleges they plan to attend are Adelphi University, Alvernia University, Champlain College, Clarkson University, Colorado Mountain College, Florida Gulf Coast University, Grand Canyon University, Hudson Valley Community College, Ithaca College, Kennesaw State College, LeMoyne College, Marist College, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, North Carolina State University, Pace University, Quinnipiac University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Russell Sage, Savannah College of Art and Design, Siena College, Springfield College, St. Bonaventure University, SUNY Adirondack, SUNY Cortland, SUNY Geneseo, SUNY Morrisville, SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Oswego, SUNY Purchase, University at Albany, University of Connecticut, Wentworth Institute of Technology. One graduate will be participating in the NYS Correctional Services Zone 5 Training Academy and another will be entering the United States Army.

Photo Caption: Early College Career Academy New Media Program Queensbury Campus Graduates