Career Studies

These programs provide students with hands-on career training at an alternative learning pace.

Automotive Services

Questar III’s Automotive Services offers students hands-on introduction for basic to mid-level automotive repair. While working with others in a shop setting, students will be exposed to job skills and values needed for successful employment in automotive services. Employment skills include: basic automotive maintenance and repairs including brakes and tune-ups.

Potential employment:

  • Automotive Shop Assistant
  • Lawn Mower Maintenance (Columbia-Greene Educational Center only)
  • Retail Parts Store Associate
  • Small Engine Repair (Columbia-Greene Educational Center only)
  • Entry Level Technician

Building Trades

The coursework in Building Trades prepares students for entry-level positions in the construction, facilities maintenance and to a lesser extent the custodial fields. Core disciplines in carpentry, plumbing, electrical, masonry and laborer techniques are explored. The course also includes units on developing customer relation skills and how to organize work tasks. After completing several introductory assignments, students may progress to more complex projects related to residential and facility repairs and construction. Each year students are required to do two individual projects –one basic and one more involved. These projects are generally based on developing woodworking skills. Projects are work-based in nature, involving problem solving and hands-on skills. Students also work on projects that will benefit the local community.

Potential employment:

  • Carpenter’s Assistant
  • Maintenance Assistant
  • Retail Parts Store Associate

Career Exploration

Questar III’s Career Exploration program provides high school students with the opportunity to explore occupational areas and potential careers while building teamwork and hands-on skills. Students participate in several units of study. These units introduce the basic skills of the field, occupations available, tools used and the employability skills needed to succeed. The program provides the opportunity to explore careers in a variety of settings. Students may explore units in Career Skills, Carpentry, Cooking, Computer/Office Skills, Housekeeping/ Laundry, Health and Safety, Early Childhood, Horticulture, Auto Services and Equine Care and Management. Students completing the Career Exploration Program may continue in one of Questar III’s other Career Studies Programs.

Introduction to Food Services

Questar III’s Intro to Food Services program readies students for a career in the food service industry. In this program, students experience hands-on learning and basic skills development in food preparation used in commercial and home-style kitchens. Students develop skills in practical applications for catering by working in a food service room and the working café. Students also learn safe, sanitary and nutritional food preparation skills for both home and commercial

Potential employment:

  • Dietary Aide
  • Prep Cook
  • Waitstaff

Hotel and Lodging/START

The START (Skills, Tasks, And Results Training) Program is an opportunity for students to earn the Line-level Hospitality Skills Certification from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute. This two-year program gives students real-world knowledge, skills, and professional job training for a future career with advancement potential in the lodging industry. START provides training for hospitality positions including reservations, housekeeping, restaurant services, banquet set-up and more. This program is only offered at the Rensselaer Educational Center in Troy.

Potential employment:

  • Front Desk Representative
  • Bell Attendant
  • Guestroom Attendant
  • Maintenance Employee
  • Laundry Attendant
  • Public Space Cleaner
  • Banquet Setup Employee
  • Banquet Server
  • Bus Person

Introduction to Employment

Questar III’s Introduction to Employment program provides students with community-based employment training. Instruction takes place at Questar III Educational Centers in various classroom/lab settings and local job sites.

  • Classroom instruction focuses on building marketable pre-employment skills, teamwork skills, and individual responsibility.
  • Lab instruction focuses on job skill experiences in the areas of food service, retail and business skills.
  • Students will work in a variety of jobsites throughout the community with the support of a job coach. Job coaches will provide support and constant feedback for students during these various work experiences.
  • Once ready for paid employment, job facilitators will assist students in locating job opportunities for transitioning to employment after graduation.



Contact Information

Columbia-Greene Educational Center
(518) 828-4157 •

Rensselaer Educational Center
(518) 273-2264 •