Test Center Spotlight: Orange-Ulster BOCES in the Orange County Correctional Facility in Goshen, New York
The OUBOCES in the Orange County Correctional Facility knows how important education is. For offenders serving time in the correctional facility, studying for and passing the TASC Test Assessing Secondary Completion™ sparks new beginnings and helps them forge a better life for themselves and their families once they are released.
Today we’re placing the test center spotlight on New York’s OUBOCES in the Orange County Correctional Facility as Dianna Fox, Special Education Teacher and Team Leader, takes us inside the facility’s process and experience with the TASC test:
- Can you tell us a little bit about what the Orange-Ulster BOCES is?
BOCES programs and services assist local school districts in providing high-quality and varied educational opportunities that are also efficient and cost-effective.
BOCES is an acronym for Board of Cooperative Educational Services, a regional public education service organization. Established in 1948 by the state legislature, BOCES provides high-quality, cost-effective educational services to school districts in New York State. BOCES also provides special education, career and technical education, adult education, professional development, instructional services, educational technology support, library services and a number of management services for component school districts. There are 37 BOCES statewide. Orange-Ulster BOCES first provided services to component districts in 1957 and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2007.
BOCES help school districts save money by pooling their resources and sharing costs. BOCES services are created when two or more school districts have similar needs that can be met by sharing staff, office space, equipment and time. Sharing eliminates duplication and allows schools to operate more efficiently and cost-effectively.
- When did the Orange-Ulster BOCES start offering the TASC test?
OUBOCES in the Orange County Correctional Facility started offering the TASC test in 2014.
- What successes have you seen as a result of offering the TASC test?
The successes we have seen as a result of offering the TASC test have been a more cohesive parallel of the College and Career Readiness curriculum to the New York state public high schools.
- How is the TASC test administered at the Orange-Ulster BOCES?
The TASC test is administered via paper-and-pencil. However, the Orange County Correctional Facility/OUBOCES program ran a successful New York state TASC test online pilot in June 2013.
- How does the OUBOCES help test takers prepare for the TASC test?
In the Orange County Correctional Facility, OUBOCES provides ABE/HSE (Adult Basic Education/High School Equivalency) classes that are based on New York state Career and College Readiness Standards. We have New York State Education Department (NYSED) certified teachers who teach five days a week. We provide after school tutoring for our minor population (16-20 year olds) and we assess with TABE® (Test of Adult Basic Education). When a student reaches a 12.9 in reading and 12.9 in math (Level D), we provide a TASC test orientation. At the orientation, the teachers discuss the pre-TASC testing criteria with the test candidates. We administer the TASC Test Readiness Assessment, assess the results, and discuss the scores with our students. If they qualify we then schedule the TASC test. If the students do not qualify, we continue with our curriculum and provide additional TASC test support materials in the subject areas of need.
- What are you most passionate about with OUBOCES?
We believe in our students and the OUBOCES teachers in the Orange County Correctional Facility want our students to succeed in their academic and vocational endeavors. We are able to individualize our student's academic and transitional needs. Our expectations are clear and set high; our students are capable. Fortunately, we receive excellent administrative support throughout our Adult Education program.
The OUBOCES Superintendent's office is a phone call away and our own Adult Education Director and Literacy Coordinator provide continued professional assistance. The collaboration between OUBOCES and the Orange County Correctional Facility is superb – the result of daily, consistent communication. Our students make their educational gains as a result of this partnership.