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Adult Vocational Student Handbook


Welcome to Orange-Ulster BOCES Adult Education Division (OU BOCES). This student handbook has been prepared to inform you about school programs, general rules and procedures, student services provisions, and about your rights and responsibilities. This information is based upon policies, procedures, and rules instituted by the New York State Department of Education and OU BOCES.


View/Download PDF of the Adult Vocational Student Handbook

School Mission

The mission of the Adult Career Development Center is to serve our component districts and community in the development of continuous learners who will be successful in meeting the challenges of living in our society today and in the future.

We will accomplish this mission in a cost-effective manner with a dedicated, skilled, and caring staff providing quality educational services in a safe, nurturing and accessible environment.

Nature and Scope of Operations

The Adult & Continuing Education programs operate under the authority granted by the Board of Cooperative Educational Services.  A wide variety of programs and classes are offered to meet the needs of the adult students in the areas of career and adult education.  Adults must meet minimum academic requirements for admission.  All students must adhere to policies set by BOCES and listed within this handbook.

Employment Assistance Services

Orange-Ulster BOCES assists students in solving problems and making decisions concerning their course selections, educational and career goals, and personal responsibilities. The Adult Education Division offers career educational counseling/case management to all current, prospective, and former students. Case managers assist with program decisions, explain test scores, and inform students of the center’s policies and regulations.  These services are available from 8:00 am-3:30 pm Monday-Friday. Individual appointments can be made for evenings by calling 845-781-6715.                        

Students with disabilities

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states that “no qualified person with a disability, shall on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity which receives benefits from federal assistance.”  A person with a disability under the Section 504 means any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; has a record of such impairment; or is regarded as having such impairment.  

Veteran’s Assistance (“VA”)

Veterans may obtain assistance or information regarding educational benefits and specific regulations from the Veteran’s Coordinator at the Adult and Continuing Education Office. OU BOCES complies with all of the regulations set forth by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) and the New York State Division of Veterans Affairs (Bureau of Veterans Education) for the training of veterans and other persons. 

Credit Evaluation Policy for VA Recipients

Upon request from individual VA funded students, OU BOCES will inquire about the veterans benefits eligible person’s previous education and training, and request transcripts from all prior institutions, including military training, traditional college coursework and vocational training. Previous transcripts will be evaluated and credit will be granted, as appropriate.

Adult Admissions

New York State Education Department Rules limit enrollment in adult education programs to individuals who have legally left school and have reached the age of 18. 


According to Risk Management procedures, student accidents must be reported to the office.  The following staff are listed as building safety representatives and shall be contacted immediately in the event of an accident/incident at their location: 

  • Lori Yakawiak or Renee Mulligan, Maple Building: Three Washington Center, Newburgh, NY

The building safety representatives will be responsible for contacting the student’s emergency contact or Emergency Personnel.

Fire drills

Fire and lockdown drills are required of all Orange-Ulster BOCES Schools throughout the year.


  1. Teachers will escort students quickly and quietly out of the building according to the routes posted in each room. Leave the building immediately.
  2. Students should remain 100 feet from the building until the “all clear” bell is sounded.
  3. Teachers are to inform the school’s administration if they have disabled students that may need assistance during a fire drill.


No visitors or children are allowed in class without previous administrative approval.

Physical Examination Health Form and Immunization Records

Students involved in the following medical programs must submit a completed Physical Health Form with updated immunizations no later than three weeks prior to the final day of the classroom portion of the course for courses including: Nursing Assistant, Phlebotomy, and Sterile Processing.  Failure to submit these documents on time will result in the forfeiture of a clinical placement and no tuition refund will be provided.  In addition, students registered for clinical placement must submit this documentation to the clinical coordinator prior to placement.     

Dress Code

All medical students are required to wear uniforms (scrubs - color specific for each program) and sneakers, preferably white, every day beginning on the first day of class.  For the Sterile Processing Program students are required to purchase white shoes to be used only at the clinical site.  Students are encouraged to give proper attention to personal hygiene and grooming. Items which interfere with health, safety, and infection control such as; jewelry, long and/or fake finger nails, perfume, as well as face or tongue piercings are not allowed in the health programs that participate in a clinical setting.  In addition, these items will be prohibited in the classroom if they effect the overall learning environment of the student or others.  An appropriate standard of dress and appearance is required during class and at all school- sponsored activities.  

All construction trades students are required to wear protective clothing such as jeans or pants and a full length t-shirt (no tank tops).  In addition, appropriate foot wear such as steel-toed boots may be required by the instructor as well as protective eye wear.  Items that interfere with safety such as jewelry and fake fingernails are not allowed in the construction trades programs.   Long hair must be tied back and not worn loose.   An appropriate standard of dress and appearance determined by the instructor is required during class and at all school- sponsored activities.  

Student Code of Conduct

The code of Student Conduct applies to all school related events, on and off school grounds. Students who commit a breach of conduct or continued defiance of school authority and policies may lose educational privileges by suspension and/or expulsion. Such offenses include, but are not limited to:

  1. Extortion                    
  2. Robbery and/or Theft
  3.  Gambling and/or Gambling Devices
  4.  Sex Violations and/or Lewd Behavior
  5. Possession of Mood Modifiers (including alcohol), Controlled Substances (without a prescription) or Illegal Drugs
  6. Insubordination         
  7. Threats: implied or overt    
  8. Sale or Distribution of Mood Modifiers (including alcohol), Controlled Substances or Illegal  Drugs                    
  9. Use of Mood Modifiers, (including alcohol), Controlled Substances (without a prescription) or Illegal Drugs
  10. Arson               
  11. Aggravated Assault and/or Battery
  12. Battery and/or Assault
  13. Possession and/or Concealment of any weapon or Firearm
  14. Inappropriate or unprofessional verbal interactions with staff
  15. Unprofessional attitude and / or behavior
  16. Inappropriate use of cell phones
  17. Cheating, plagiarism, altering records or academic misconduct
  18. Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, or Harassment 

Certain conduct, including, but not limited to, theft, damage to property, assault and/or menacing others, constitutes a violation of the law.  Students participating in such behavior may be referred to the appropriate law enforcement authorities. 

For more information refer to  Code of Conduct for Students/Adults.

  • Smoking is not allowed on school property, at the clinical/externship facility, while in uniform or on any BOCES property.  Smoking includes cigarettes, cigars, and e-cigarettes and other vaping mechanisms.
  • Students will keep cell phones on silence/vibrate during class. Cell phones will be put away during class time and used only outside the facility during breaks, except for emergencies or as directed by the instructor for instructional purposes.

Student Acceptable Use Guidelines for Computer

The Orange-Ulster BOCES has established a computer network and is pleased to offer Internet access for student use.  This will allow students access to a variety of Internet resources.  In order for students to use the Internet, students must first read and understand the following acceptable use guidelines.

A.    Acceptable Uses

  1. The computer network at OU BOCES has been set up in order to allow Internet access for educational purposes.  This includes classroom activities, research activities, and the exchange of project-related ideas with other classes or classmates.
  2. Students will have access to the Internet via school computers.
  3. Student use of the Internet is contingent to a signed copy of this Acceptable Use Policy.  
  4. Material created and/or stored on the system is not private.  School administrators and appropriate staff may review the system from time to time to ensure that the system is being used properly.  For this reason, students should expect that any work created and/or stored on the network may be viewed by a third party.
  5. Assigned passwords should be kept private.  Accounts and/or passwords may not be shared.
  6. Computer users are expected to adhere to the safety guidelines listed below.

B.    Safety Guidelines for Students

1.    Never give out your last name, address, or personal phone number and never post your photograph.
2.    Never agree to meet, in person, with anyone you have met online.
3.    Notify your teacher immediately if you receive a message that may be inappropriate or if you encounter any material that violates this Acceptable Use Policy.

C.    Unacceptable Uses

  1. The network may not be used to download, copy, or store any software, shareware, or freeware without prior permission from OU BOCES staff.  The students are not permitted to disable any security or Anti-Virus software.
  2. The network may not be used for “commercial” purposes.
  3. Use of the network for “advertising” or political lobbying is prohibited.
  4. The network may not be used for any activity, or to transmit any material, that violates federal, state, or local laws.  This includes, but is not limited to, illegal activities such as threatening the safety of another person or violating copyright laws.
  5. Computer users may not use vulgar, bullying, or obscene language.  Users may not engage in personal attacks, harass another person, or post private information about another person.
  6. Computer users may not log on to someone else’s account or attempt to access another user’s files.  “Hacking” or otherwise trying to gain access to another person’s or organization’s computer system is prohibited.
  7. Computer users may not access web sites, news groups, or chat areas that contain material that is obscene or that promotes illegal acts.  If a user accidentally accesses this type of information, he or she must immediately notify OU BOCES staff.
  8. Computer users may not engage in “spamming” (sending an e-mail to more than 10 people at the same time) or participate in chain letters.

D.    Violation of Acceptable Use Guidelines

Students violating the above policy will be dealt with on an individual basis.  Students may lose computer and/or network privileges or face legal action when federal or state laws are violated.

Student Grievance Procedure

When questions about procedures, decisions or judgments arise, 
i)    Students are required to discuss the situation with their immediate instructor or staff member. 
ii)    If the student is not satisfied with the communication received from the instructor, students may then document their concerns through email to the Vocational Coordinator at  The Director will respond accordingly.
iii)    If the dissatisfaction continues, the course teacher will set up a meeting with the Vocational Coordinator and the student.
iv)    If there is no satisfaction attained through step iii, the student may then appeal to the Adult Education Coordinator at 845-781-6715  x10823.
v)  If there is no satisfaction attained through step iv, the student may then appeal to the Assistant Superintendent at 845-291-0120

Students must adhere to this process in order to have concerns addressed.  Complaints will not be accepted on behalf of students from third parties such as: parents, spouses or friends.  This is an Adult Education Program.  As such, students are expected to handle their own concerns.  Staff are not able to discuss student issues with parents when the student reaches 18 years of age.

Title IX Compliance:

Orange-Ulster BOCES operates all programs in compliance with the federal and state laws which prohibit discrimination because of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, political affiliation, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, pregnancy, military status, veteran status, genetic predisposition or carrier status, ancestry, disability or any other legally protected status. The Compliance Officer is Kerri Stroka, Assistant Superintendent & Title IX/Section 504/ADA Coordinator,  (845) 291-0100 Extension 10120.

Staff Authority

Students must courteously and respectfully comply with the reasonable requests of any teacher, staff member, or administrator in or out of the classroom. Students are also expected to give their names to any staff member, if requested. Failure to comply with the directions of school personnel, acting in the performance of their duties will subject the student to immediate disciplinary action.

Student Registration

It is the student's responsibility to come into a location to register and fill out the appropriate registration forms.  Some classes (all certified classes) must be registered for in person at an OU BOCES Adult Education office. Students may also register online at Orange-Ulster BOCES does not 'hold' seats and operates under a first come, first serve basis for class enrollments. Some classes have prerequisites that must be completed before registration so be sure to know what is required prior to attempting to register.   Also, course tuition in full or a payment plan (initial) payment must be paid in full at registration in order to enroll in a course. For more information on registration dial (845)781-6715 extension 2.

*Please note that some courses require potential students to go through an interview selection process as part of registration.  Due to the competitive nature of these interviews some students will not be selected to enroll.  Students will be selected through the use of a scoring rubric which will be completed by a member of the OU BOCES staff.  Students are allowed to interview two times per calendar year.

Proof of Academic Ability Requirement

Some courses require students to prove their reading and/or math ability prior to enrollment.  For these types of courses (as outlined in the course catalog) potential students are required to take a TABE placement test.  In lieu of taking the TABE test, potential students may opt to waive this requirement by providing a transcript from a U.S. high school showing graduation date, an original High School diploma with a raised seal showing graduation date and achievement status, a passing High School Equivalency (GED) certificate/transcript, or a U.S. college transcript showing enrollment in credit-bearing courses.  We do not accept foreign, translated, or evaluated transcripts or diplomas.  Students who have completed their schooling in a language other than English must take a TABE test, and therefore, cannot waive testing.  Students with an IEP Diploma or CDOS transcript must also complete a TABE test in order to show appropriate skill levels.  Furthermore, OU BOCES does not accept Penn-Foster or other for-profit and/or distance learning High School transcripts.  The transcript/diploma must be provided before or at the time of registration and payment.  OU BOCES will not hold a seat while waiting for a transcript.

Course Supplies

Some courses require students to purchase their own supplies.  Supply lists will be provided upon course registration and these lists are also available on the OU BOCES website.  These supplies are not included in the tuition cost.

Fees – Adult Students

Class fees are required at the time of registration. The tuition amount varies according to class contact hours.  Tuition payment arrangements are made with registration personnel. Some courses have payment plans available for students.  There is a $105 non-refundable payment plan fee for using this service.

Money orders, credit/debit cards, and checks are acceptable forms of payment. Students are required to pay for their books, personal supplies, and uniforms as needed.

For field trips and other agency events, students should expect an OU BOCES receipt in exchange for the money order given to cover the expenses for that event.    

Tuition Payment Plans

Students are responsible for the full payment plan amount contracted, which includes a payment plan fee.  Students are responsible for the tuition payments by the dates printed on the Payment Plan Agreement, regardless of whether or not they successfully complete the program. 

The prices of textbooks, supply fees, uniforms, screening fees, medical exam or required immunizations, Certification fees and State exam fees are not included in the payment plan total (students are responsible for these fees).  

Failure to comply with the payment plan agreement may result in student information being turned over to a collection agency for tuition retrieval.  OU BOCES reserves the right to pursue legal action when payment is not made. If payment is not made within 5 business days of the payment plan due date the student will be removed from class until the payment is made.

Funding Agencies

OU BOCES accepts tuition vouchers from local funding agencies including (but not limited to), ACCES-VR, Orange County Employment and Training, CSEA, The VA and Pathstone.  It is the responsibility of the student to secure said funding along with providing OU BOCES with a voucher at the time of registration.  Students interested in obtaining a tuition voucher must work with these various agencies prior to enrollment.

REFUND POLICY – Adult Students

Courses must be dropped through the Adult Education Office prior to the first day of class.  

  • For Certified Courses, a drop fee of $100.00 will be retained from your refund
  • For Non-Certified Courses,  a drop fee of $10.00 will be retained from your refund
  • Refunds for checks and money orders will take approximately 3-4 weeks.
  • Refunds are for tuition only and will not include book(s) or supply fees


Personal property

The school assumes no responsibility for the personal property of students.

Student Evaluation of Classroom Instruction

Students have the right to evaluate classroom instruction. Such evaluations shall be treated as confidential material for the teacher and are to be used for the improvement of instruction. Students will be required to complete this confidential evaluation form at the end of every course.


Anyone who is not currently enrolled in school will not be permitted within the building. Children are not permitted to accompany enrolled students to class.

Attendance Policy (adult students)

OU BOCES requires students to attend 85% of the class hours for the program schedule.  Students may make up time due to extenuating circumstance which will be addressed on an individual basis.  Students who do not meet the 85% requirement will not be scheduled for the certification exam. Veterans utilizing V.A. benefits may lose their benefits after the third unexcused absence of any month; these absences do not need to be in succession.  

Students enrolled in the Nurse Assistant, and Core Curriculum programs are required to have 100% attendance in order to be eligible for certification. 

Tardiness – Teachers will document tardiness. Tardy time will accumulate and be included as part of the 85% attendance requirement. Tardiness will also be part of the class grade and contribute toward the 75% pass rate.

*Please note that some classes may take place at an alternate location based on the inclusion of industry experience and/or clinical placement for certain courses.  Student will be made aware of these alternate locations in advance and must be able to make appropriate arrangements in order to attend.

Academic Requirements

Students must achieve a 75% average as well as meet the 85% attendance requirement to receive the OU BOCES’ Certificate of Completion and be recommended to sit for the certification exam.  Grades are kept and compiled by course teachers and are calculated through use of tests, quizzes, class participation, and projects.

Standards of Progress

Students falling below a 65% grade point average will be placed under academic probation for a period of time equaling 30% of the course hours/sessions, during which time their grade point average must improve. Prior to the end of the probationary period, at-risk students will meet with the Vocational Coordinator to explore options for improving grades to a satisfactory level.  At the conclusion of the 30% probationary period, a student whose grades do not improve to 65% or higher will be dismissed from the program for unsatisfactory progress.  Students who are dismissed will receive no refund of tuition expenses.  

Re-entry into the program may be granted for students who remain below the 65% average after the probationary period.  In order to be re-entered (or to continue the program) students must write a letter of appeal to the Vocational Coordinator citing just reasoning for re-entry into the program.  The Vocational Coordinator will decide whether or not the reasoning warrants re-entry into the educational program.

Academic Records

Academic transcripts are kept by OU BOCES for up to seven (7) years after a student has completed a certified program.  

Course certificates are provided for students who have met the attendance and achievement/grade level requirements as specified.  Courses that are less than ten (10) hours do not qualify for a certificate.  All certificates for qualifying courses are provided at the completion of the course either in person on the final night or by mail. 

Tax Documentation

Although OU BOCES offers many certified classes, Orange-Ulster BOCES is not a nationally accredited post-secondary institution which means we do not offer any tuition assistance or federal financial aid or accept student loans for tuition. Please note that OU BOCES division of Adult and Continuing Education does not and cannot issue 1098-T forms for tax filing purposes.  For these reasons, OU BOCES does not publish or distribute our Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Emergency Closings, Delays, and Make-up Days

School closings for weather related issues will be announced on the OU BOCES website, through OU BOCES News Notifier, local radio stations or by calling 845-781-6715 for an emergency announcement.  

Classes may also be cancelled in the events of instructor illness, power outages, or other unplanned emergencies.  In the event of a class cancellation of this type students will be notified by their instructor or another OU BOCES staff member via phone call or text message.  Students should check their messages prior to class time to ensure everything is running as scheduled.

Make-up classes will be scheduled by the class instructor with the goal to reschedule based on student preferences and availability whenever possible.  These make-ups may occur after the last scheduled day of class and/or on a day of the week the class was not originally scheduled, including Fridays or Saturdays.


During the course of the school year, there will be times when photographs or video tapes will be taken of students during school activities.  Occasionally, the pictures may be used for such purposes as BOCES promotional literature, press releases about BOCES programs, or other publicity and media purposes on a variety of platforms, including but not limited to the internet, printed materials (i.e. catalogues, handbooks, brochures, newspaper articles and ads), social media, and other platforms. Completed and signed photo/recording release forms will be required for all students enrolled in BOCES Adult Education courses/programs.


Students may be required to wear ID badge on their persons at all times, depending on site policy.

Student Acknowledgement of OU BOCES’ Rules and Procedures

View/Download the Acknowledgement Form