Select Page


Front of Columbia High SchoolColumbia students now have more opportunities to earn college credit and prepare for successful careers while in high school.

A new program in Business Administration was approved by the New York State Education Department last week, allowing East Greenbush Central School District to offer a sequence that leads to a diploma certification and college credit in three additional courses.

If students complete the following courses, their diploma will have a special seal added to it upon graduation:

  • Microsoft Word Essentials
  • Career and Financial Management
  • Entrepreneurship (3 College Credits)
  • Marketing Essentials (3 College Credits)
  • Microsoft Office Suite (3 College Credits)
  • Organization Management (3 College Credits) or Career Exploration and Internship Program
New York State Education Department seal

This seal will be added to a student’s diploma if they complete the new Business Administration program.

Each of the courses is taught in a semester, except for Marketing Essentials which is a full-year course.

The college credits are approved through Hudson Valley Community College but are highly transferable throughout the SUNY system, and could be accepted at other public or private colleges.

“This is a great accomplishment for our district and a wonderful opportunity for our students,” said James McHugh, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. “We are constantly working to update course offerings and prepare students for college and careers.”

District administrators chose to pursue an SED-approved program in Business Administration based on student interest as well as regional labor analytics that showed growth in that area. They worked with Columbia business teachers Donna Shepardson, Katrina Gruet and Brittany Perrin, as well as the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce and other local organizations over the past 16 months to create this new program.

The district was required to complete a self-study, an internal review, an external review by a committee that included local businesses and colleges, and create work-based learning opportunities, additional courses that offer college credits and an employability profile.

“The district is proud of the fact that we can now offer our students a NYSED-approved CTE program in Business Administration,” said Superintendent Jeff Simons. “Students who complete program requirements will now have an additional technical endorsement on their Regents Diploma putting them on a solid footing for a potential career path. I’m grateful for the work of our business teachers and administrators for enhancing our business courses.”