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Like Computers? Study Them at FM!

Posted: May 16, 2018 — by Amy Radik

Rane with Professor Waffle

Rane with Professor Waffle

Rane Dutcher grew up in Gloversville and is currently taking high school and college courses through the PTECH program in Johnstown. PTECH is a new model for secondary education that trades classrooms for “innovation spaces.” Rather than lectures, group collaboration and hands-on learning is provided. Students take the lead role in their learning, choosing pathways to their careers and earning college credits beginning year one.

Rane’s major at FM is Computer Information Systems (A.A.S) which she chose because she enjoys working with computers. “Being able to code different programs and websites is a pretty interesting thing to do,” says Rane.

Her professor, Marty Waffle, has already made an impact on her. “He has taught me a lot about programming, as well as how to use Excel and Access, sparking more interest within me for this major than when I first started. He comes to class upbeat and chipper each day and makes learning a lot more fun and interesting than just sitting and taking notes to a monotone voice.”

Some exciting news Rane couldn’t wait to share with Professor Waffle was taking first place for Computer Applications in the New York State FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) Conference. “This means that out of all FBLA members who took the Computer Applications test and completed the performance assessment in New York, I was the one who got the highest score,” explains Rane. “There are over 4,000 FBLA members in New York, with a good number of them having taken the same tests as me. First place winners are able to go to Nationals where winners from each state compete against one another in a four-day conference. This year’s National Conference is going to be in Baltimore, Maryland, and I’m very much looking forward to it! Not only do you get a chance to win first place in the whole country, but you also get to meet a lot of like-minded individuals and form connections that will benefit you in the future.”

Rane has set high standards for herself. “Throughout my studies I’d like to maintain a GPA higher than a 3.9.  Even though I would like to maintain a 4.0, I’m giving myself some leeway because I know I am bound to get a few A-’s in some classes on my way to getting an Associate’s degree.”

Once Rane has earned her FM diploma, she plans on going to work in the IT field through one of PTECH’s business partners, such as IBM. “However, if I want to further my education later, I would like to get a career in animation because I like working with both computers and drawing,” she says.

“I am glad my first college experience is with FM,” says Rane. “The teachers I have met have been kind; they are always willing to help you inside and outside of the classroom. Coursework is manageable; it’s just challenging enough so that I learn about the subject but light enough as to where I can keep up with my high school work as well.  I really believe people who like working with computer software or enjoy coding programs or websites should consider studying Computer Information Systems.  I highly recommend this pathway for you!”

Amy Radik is the Coordinator of PR & Marketing at FM.



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