When Mike Mosca was formally introduced as the incoming principal of Comsewogue High School at this past January’s district board meeting, he expressed his desire to revamp the school’s business department, saying he was focused on getting his students to the next step of their lives, whether it be college or straight into their careers.
Working together with Comsewogue Superintendent Jennifer Quinn, fellow teachers and administrators, collectively they have already begun making changes to the business curriculum at the start of this school year.
In conjunction with this strategy, the high school has revitalized its School to Career Advisory Committee, which aims to help students with their career paths and become productive members of the community. The group will be made up of teachers, administrators, business leaders, local professionals, community members, students and other stakeholders.
“We think this is something we believe will get our students to the next level,” Mosca said. “We have been reaching out to professionals and asking them, ‘What are you looking for in a candidate?’ and use that help and sculpt our students to be successful post school.”
Mosca said he hopes that the revamped curriculum and committee will help bridge the gap from school to the next stage of a student’s life.
“We want to make the business curriculum focused on career readiness and want to make sure they gain the skills needed for the 21st century and their careers,” he said.
The principal of the high school said it has already begun reaching out to community members, organizations, professionals, business leaders, among others, to see who would be interested in joining the committee.
As of now, the district has around 50 people who have pledged to join the committee. Together they will provide input on how the business courses can be improved as well as connecting students with professionals in their preferred career path.
Mosca said they have plans on doing mock interview days with students, job shadowing opportunities, guest speakers to talk to students and set up possible internships.
Anthony Ketterer, business education teacher, said he believes this is a great opportunity and advantageous for students at the high school.
“We want our students to think about their careers and life after high school,” he said. “We want to bring students and professionals together … and continue the strong relationship between the community and the school.”
Ketterer said the main goal is to better educate students and teach them practical skills that they can use in the future. He also said they want to provide resources to students who chose to pursue trade and vocational careers after graduating.
Beginning in September, administrators and teachers began the first step in the business department revamp when it began offering a virtual enterprise business class to seniors.
The six-credit course offered through SUNY Farmingdale allows students to essentially run a virtual business, specifically a clothing business, which was chosen by the students.
Mosca said the class is made up of 10 students and will act as a liaison for the committee on how they can further improve the curriculum for future students.
The principal also mentioned that members of the committee donated cubicles, desks and other office materials to mimic a real-life business setting.
“They are getting real-world experience — they are our pioneers and they are going to be working closely with the committee,” Mosca said.
“We want our students to think about their careers and life after high school.”
— Anthony Ketterer
He wants to make this experience accessible to all students in the district and hopes to expand it younger students down the line.
In addition, the principal said he wants to make sure they are catering to different fields and career paths that students are interested in nowadays, adding there are “so many directions they can go in now.”
In response, administrators have reached out to professionals in the health care and medical field like St. Charles Hospital and Northwell Health. Local officials and politicians have expressed interest in contributing to the committee.
Mosca also has plans to eventually create a senior workshop stemming off ideas from the committee. He said there are opportunities to teach students important life skills like changing a tire or filing their taxes.
The committee plans to meet several times a year and its first advisory meeting will be on Nov. 14 at Comsewogue High School.
“Getting our students exploring these opportunities is the goal,” Mosca said. “They should be thinking about this and their careers as early as possible.”