By The Business Review (Albany)

Ballston Spa Central School will team up with Hudson Valley Community College to offer a clean technology and sustainable industry program for up to 30 high school students beginning next fall.

The two-year program will allow Ballston Spa juniors and seniors to earn high school and up to 20 college credits. The program will be offered at HVCCâ¿¿s TEC-SMART campus in Malta, Saratoga County.

The curriculum will include theory and design courses related to wind and solar power as well as nanotechnology and nanoeconomics instruction.

The goal is to prepare students to work in emerging fields of photovoltaic, wind and semiconductor manufacturing, said Ballston Spa Superintendent Joseph Dragone.

⿿We want this to be offered regionally,⿝ Dragone said.

The program is expected to increase beyond 30 students and be expanded to include other districts once the Ballston Spa pilot has time to develop, he said.

College-level courses will be taught by HVCC faculty and high school courses will be taught by school district staff at no additional cost to the district.

Students will be enrolled both as high school and college students. A fee will be charged to enroll at HVCC. Similar college courses taught within high schools cost between $100 and $200 a student. Dragone said he expects the district raise money through grants and donations to offset that cost.

Ballston Spa already had developed nanotechnology, nanoeconomics, video game design and biomedical science programs that have been offered by the district over the past two years. The school also has a robotics program for elementary students.

Prior to heading the Ballston Spa school district, Dragone was an assistant superintendent at Albany City School.

During his time there, he developed a high school nanotechnology program in conjunction with the University at Albanyâ¿¿s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

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