The Business Council has been a huge supporter of specialized schools under the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program. Our work with the program began back in December 2012 when we, along with IBM and the State Education Department, co-hosted a meeting for potential partners. These innovative grade 9-14 schools combine academics, workplace learning and mentoring, and have been championed by everyone from Governor Cuomo to President Obama. In fact, President Obama even mentioned Brooklyn P-TECH in his 2013 State of the Union address. And now, six students who completed the program in only four years, are on the cusp of graduating.
P-TECH Brooklyn is the flagship school that spurred the state’s P-TECH program. A partnership between IBM (a Business Council member), the New York City Department of Education, the City University of New York and City Tech, the school allows students to graduate with a high school diploma and associate degree in applied science in computer systems technology or electromechanical engineering technology. Students are then given an opportunity to be first in line for jobs at IBM.
The NY Daily News wrote a great article about this year’s first crop of graduates. We were particularly struck by this passage: The students are the first group to graduate from P-TECH with a high school degree and an associate’s degree. That includes Gabriel Rosa, who applied to P-TECH on a whim. “Being able to handle a lot of work is definitely a skill I’ve gained,” Rosa said. “If I wasn’t in P-TECH, I’m not sure where I’d be.”