Questar III BOCES is partnering with the University at Albany to create a New Visions: Emergency Preparedness, Informatics, Cyber and Homeland Security (EPICH) program to be introduced in the 2021-22 school year. 

The program will introduce students to the necessary content and skills in emerging technologies and the use of data to anticipate and manage natural and man-made disasters and security. Students will learn beyond the classroom through experiential components including threat simulations, where students will problem-solve and position resources in real time to protect and save lives. Students will exit the program with a strong understanding of modern-day technology and the relationship data has with societal hazards and disasters.

Class of 2022 high school seniors in Rensselaer, Columbia and Greene counties will be the first to have the opportunity to participate in the program in conjunction with the University’s College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (CEHC), the first standalone academic institution of its kind in the nation. The new New Visions program will be housed in the University’s newest building, ETEC, which will open in Summer 2021. The facility will house the CEHC Makerspace, Decision Theater and Intelligence Analysis simulator.

“The Questar III New Visions program offers high school seniors with a unique opportunity to visit UAlbany’s brand new state-of-the-art ETEC building where they will be introduced and exposed to in-demand career fields that connect emerging technologies with security and preparedness,” said Jennifer Goodall, Vice Dean of the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (CEHC). “Shaping the next generation of leaders in our field and community engagement are both core priorities at CEHC. We are thrilled to start this exciting new partnership.”

“Students will be equipped with the latest technology and tools to protect communities near and far, become leaders in information science and preparedness and acquire high-demand skills and training through our partnership with the University at Albany,” said Questar III District Superintendent Dr. Gladys I. Cruz. “We’re eager to connect our students with the University’s extensive expertise in this discipline that’s becoming increasingly relevant in today’s world.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, New York has the third highest employment level of emergency preparedness/management in the country, bested only by California and Texas. Careers in cybersecurity are projected to grow 31% through 2029 as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These fields can lead to careers in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA) and more with opportunities in cyber espionage, counter-terrorism and disaster relief among others. 

Students who participate in the program may have the opportunity to earn up to 15 college credits in Cybersecurity Basics, Intro to Data Analytics, Information in the 21st Century and Intro to Emergency Prep., Homeland Security and Cybersecurity. 

The New Visions: EPICH program expands Questar III’s partnership with the University. The University’s uptown campus hosts the New Visions: Pathways in Education program, which began in the Fall 2020 semester, and the Health Sciences Campus hosts the New Visions: Scientific Research & World Health program for 20 years now.

To learn more about the New Visions: EPICH program or to apply for the program, visit its webpage, view the program flyer or contact New Visions and CTE Coordinator Kim Sparkman.

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