The future is more than just STEM, sign up for New Visions

When educators shine the spotlight on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) they illuminate only a portion of the career opportunities that exist for our generation. STEM-centered instruction also shortchanges those students whose minds light up when learning about language, literature, philosophy and the arts. We live in an age of information, yet some school districts have stopped publishing a school newspaper and worse, stopped offering journalism classes because “that’s not the future,” leaving people in the dark as they increasingly get their information from fake news, biased reporting and political spin.

But there’s good news: Capital Region BOCES, Questar III, and its partnering districts remain committed to providing opportunities for students interested in the humanities. I am the beneficiary of one such program, having chosen to enroll in the New Visions: Multimedia and Digital Communications Program at the Times Union and College of Saint Rose. The program equips students with the knowledge and experience to be successful in journalism, and in other fields of information dissemination such as public relations, marketing, video production, photojournalism and social media branding.

Students spend their mornings off campus in a fun, friendly and inviting environment where they hone their reading, writing and critical thinking skills and explore the different career opportunities in the field of public communication. In no other setting can you be at a sporting event one day, a protest the next and a community event the day after that, while getting your article and byline published in a professional newspaper and on a professional website. Students also have the opportunity to earn nine college credits.

Sure, there’s a decline in newspaper subscriptions, and the market certainly isn’t friendly to the media world. Even this publication is experiencing growing pains as it transitions from print to digital platforms, but people’s thirst for information hasn’t wavered, in fact, it has increased. Much like the transition from horse and buggy to the automobile, people didn’t lose their will to travel, and people haven’t lost the desire for information. While we continue to drive our STEM revolution, let us also remember the value of developing young minds who will be the content producers for the information highway that connects all roads of life. As the vehicle through which we receive our news continues to evolve, it is even more important to progressively educate the new drivers who will be the news consumers and journalists of tomorrow.

For high school juniors who are interested in spending their senior year participating in this unique learning experience check out our open house Jan. 31 at the Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical School, located at 1015 Watervliet-Shaker Road in Albany. For more information call 454-5079.

-Dylan Rossiter(@ByDylanRossiter)

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