Union County News

Freeholders Join Students at Opening for Union Co. Vo-Tech’s Law and Justice Mini Academy

Freeholders Alexander Mirabella (l.) and Angel G. Estrada (c.) speak with students at the new Law and Justice Mini Academy, joined by Vo-Tech Schools Schools Superintendent Pete Capodice. Credits: Photo by Jim Lowney/County of Union

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Union County Freeholders joined students, teachers and administrators of the Union County Vocational Technical in marking the opening of the new Law and Justice Mini Academy, a four-year program designed to prepare students for careers in public service, law, and criminal justice and as proactive citizens.

“We are proud of our investment in our award-winning Vocational Technical Schools, and the Law and Justice Mini Academy is yet another innovative step that will train future generations for upstanding and established careers,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce Bergen, who is a liaison to the Union County Vo-Tech School Board of Education.

The mini-academy is a 2017 initiative of Freeholder Chairman Bruce Bergen on behalf of the Board and County government. It falls under the umbrella of the Union County Vocational-Technical High School academy or UCTECH.

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“Law and Justice is a great career path and can be tremendously fulfilling for those who endeavor to be in this field,” said Freeholder Alexander Mirabella, also a liaison to the Vo-Tech School Board, and whose late father, Gene, enjoyed a distinguished career in law enforcement as a Police Chief for the City of Elizabeth. “The Vocational Technical Schools provide an outstanding education for our students, and are part of the reason why Union County remains such a great place to raise a family.”

Union Co. Vo-Tech Superintendent Pete Capodice noted that the academy is accepting 20 students per year and was started due to the success of the school’s Criminal Justice program, Capodice adds there are future plans to expand the Law and Justice Mini Academy, which is located in the West Hall Building of the Vo-Tech campus in Scotch Plains.

“We are close to partnering with an institution of higher learning for Law and Justice students to earn college credits and even spend their senior year on the college/university campus,” said Capodice. “As always, we thank the Freeholder Board for their support for this program, and the Vo-Tech as a whole.”

Students enrolled in the Law and Justice Mini Academy are immersed in courses grounded in the criminal justice and legal fields. Students participate in authentic and rigorous learning experiences designed to explore social issues, human relations, law, and government while developing critical thinking and analytical skills.

In addition to the Law and Justice Mini Academy, UCTECH offers five other innovative and exciting Career Academies under the umbrella of the Union County Vocational-Technical High School: Academy of Clinical Care Sciences,  Exercise, Physiology & Related Sciences, School of  Design, School of Sustainable Sciences and Teacher Education Academy.

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