Pathways in Technology Early College High School Program, or P-TECH, is a new model of education helping close the gap between young people’s ambitions for college and careers and the specific skills needed by employers in high-growth industries. In a P-TECH 9-14 school, students earn a high school diploma, an industry-recognized associate degree, and gain relevant work experience in a growing field. The schools create a seamless program for students to acquire the academic, technical, and workplace skills and knowledge that employers need.
The unique culture of a P-TECH 9-14 school is built upon high expectations for students and adults alike. Students see themselves as “college students” and “on a career pathway” from the moment they begin 9th grade. Likewise, teachers, partners, and parents work together to ensure that every student graduates fully prepared for the 21st century workplace. Students have the option of completing the program in as little as four years if they opt to participate in extended day opportunities, or additional summer coursework.
The P-TECH model was co-developed by IBM, the New York Department of Education, and the City University of New York. Now, there are over 110 P-TECH schools across eight U.S. states and four countries, with six P-TECH schools in Rhode Island. SENEDIA has partnered with the Community College of Rhode Island and the Newport Public School District in a P-TECH cybersecurity initiative. This initiative is also being supported by Commerce RI and the Rhode Island Department of Education to align with the growth areas of the RI economy, and the workforce needs of RI companies.
Employers play a significant role in the P-TECH program and are the driver in the development of the students’ Workplace Learning curriculum. Here is where the students’ coursework is aligned to the specific skills and needs that have been identified by the industry. Starting in grade 9, students are paired with mentors from the business community and will remain with the student throughout the program. Students will also be placed in skills-based internships during the summer prior to their junior and senior years in order to gain practical workplace experience. Graduates of the program will then have a choice of being first in line to be considered for job opportunities within industry, or continue their studies at a four-year institution.
SENEDIA is working with our partners on this forward-looking innovative program that will prepare students to be tomorrow’s industry leaders. The students that select this pathway and accept and embrace the challenge, will be the future workforce pipeline of cybersecurity professionals who have the skills and credentials necessary, to meet the growing demand of industry here in RI.
For more information on P-TECH, please visit www.ptech.org. For further information on the Cybersecurity P-TECH program in Newport County, please contact Linda Larsen, SENEDIA Director of Education Outreach at firstname.lastname@example.org.