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Orange-Ulster BOCES Congratulates Six Paraeducators

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Six summer paraeducators earned college credits through the 2023 Orange-Ulster BOCES Supporting Diverse Learners Scholarship program. The courses, run in conjunction with Marist College, enabled recent high school graduates to complete course requirements while completing their responsibilities of supporting special education students’ learning in the extended school year program.

Scholarship earners were able to complete a three-credit, undergraduate level course to apply to a bachelor’s degree. Credits will be easily transferred to the paraeducator’s current college course of study. The scholarship covered tuition, books, and other instructional materials.

“This program was a great opportunity for these recent graduates to jump start their college careers by earning credits and become accustomed to college level coursework,” said Dr. James Higgins, Director of Special and Alternative Education at OUBOCES. “And, the coursework enabled these paraeducators to deepen their understanding of what was happening in the classroom in which they worked. That clearly benefits our students.”

The program was conceived by Dr. Diane E. Lang, Director of Instructional Support Services. “We are always looking for ways to further the professional learning of all staff serving students and we were happy to partner again with Marist on this meaningful initiative.”

The six paraeducators to complete coursework through the scholarship are: Daniel Berger, Anna Malek, Catrina Maltes, Osvaldo Nava, Nicolas Pedersen, and Karen Wiegand.

“We congratulate those who took advantage of this program and we hope to be able to provide similar opportunities to summer staff in the future,” said Lang.

More than 700 students with special needs attend the extended school year programs at Orange-Ulster BOCES each summer. More than 400 professionals and paraprofessionals are hired to meet their needs. To learn more about Orange-Ulster BOCES and exciting career opportunities go to