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Alternatives to Incarceration

The Eastern Suffolk BOCES Program is designed for students, ages 16 - 21, who are assigned to the center as a recommended court placement or for at-risk students whose needs are not being met in their current school setting. The program is designed to prepare students to complete the requirements for a Regents, Local, or High School Equivalency Diploma. Courses of study will also infuse contextualized learning, career preparation, and skills achievement into daily lessons.

The program model utilizes a non-traditional learning environment to enhance academic performance and offers students real-world, hands-on application of skills through a collaborative work experience opportunity at Pal-O-Mine’s Equestrian, Inc. The program also encompasses individual and group counseling, substance abuse counseling, employment and soft skills training. Each participant’s treatment plan is individualized to address his or her needs, strengths and challenges.

Collaboration Vision:

Collaboration between Eastern Suffolk BOCES and Pal-O-Mine Equestrian, Inc. will provide students at risk with a unique learning opportunity that enables them to recognize their potential, prepare for a career, gain acceptance into college and be a productive citizen. The program incorporate horses experientially for educational, emotional growth and learning and uses alternative approaches to create positive and constructive learning experiences for adolescents who are at risk of failing in a traditional academic setting. This collaborative approach helps to re-engage the typically disengaged or defiant student and recreate a positive learning environment that carries over into the student’s academic experiences.

The program is designed to:

  • Meet the academic needs of at-risk students and/or individuals who have not attended school for a significant length of time. The academic components are contextualized to incorporate career readiness skills. The curriculum is focused on individual student needs to prepare them for NYSED graduation requirements or high school equivalency preparation.
  • Provide a seamless continuum of transitional services to students. Each student will meet with a counselor to establish an individualized transition plan. The transition plan will focus on meeting educational, employment and transportation needs in addition to connecting students with community-based organizations and resources. Eastern Suffolk BOCES has developed partnerships with federal, state, and local agencies to create links to resources that provide support to at-risk students. 
  • Address issues including but not limited to social, psychological or emotional needs of the “at-risk”