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Gov. Cuomo Calls For More 'P-TECH' Schools

Chris Dag, flickr

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to fund an experimental high school model that connects students with colleges and business to put them on a technology-focused career path.

In his budget proposal, Governor Cuomo is calling for $5 million to help start 10 more P-TECH schools in New York. The P-TECH model, short for Pathways in Technology Early College High School, is named after the school in Brooklyn that was launched 2011.

The P-TECH model is for high school students grades 9-14. School districts partner with colleges and sponsoring companies. In August 2013, the governor released funding to establish 16 P-TECH schools.

Stanley Litow, Vice President for Corporate Citizenship at IBM, which helped establish the P-TECH model at the first school in Brooklyn, said the program addresses the problem of students not being fully prepared to enter the workforce after four years of high school.

“In decades past, the high school diploma was all that you needed, and in decades past the program called vocational education gave students without a college diploma some technical skills related to the workforce,” said Litow. “What we’re talking about is giving students the academic and the workforce that are going to allow them to be successful in a career.”

The six-year P-TECH model graduates students with an associate’s degree and a spot first-in-line for a job at participating companies.

IBM is working with the Newburgh Enlarged City School District, one of the 16 recipients of grant money to start a P-TECH school last August.

Also working with SUNY Orange, the district is preparing to launch Excelsior Academy in September.

Dr. Daniel Shanahan, Executive Director of Secondary Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment at Newburgh schools, said students at Excelsior Academy will share facilities with students at Newburgh Free Academy, but will integrate aspects of college-level courses, like calculus, into their schedules. But Shanahan said the P-TECH program in development is more than just academics.

“We know that we have to have very, very strong adult-student relationships,” said Shanahan. “The students cannot be left to feel that they’re on their own to sink or swim. And I don’t mean hand-holding. I mean a culture of mutual responsibility.”

Shanahan said Excelsior Academy students will participate in workplace visits, internships, and mentorships with IBM as they work on their high school diploma and degree from SUNY Orange.

IBM’s Litow said the first graduates from P-TECH in New York have not yet arrived, but IBM is seeing results and is hoping to bring the model to other states.

“We don’t have to wait for the final results are in, we know the results so far are so siginificant that it’s spreading across the United States.”

Other area P-TECH schools in development  include a manufacturing program partnership between Global Foundries, SUNY Adirondack and a K-12 regional consortium led by Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES with fiscal lead Hudson Falls School District.

Also on the way: an advanced manufacturing program between the Center for Economic Growth, GE Healthcare and Regeneron, working with Hudson Valley Commuity College and a K-12 Regional consortium led by Questar III BOCES with fiscal lead Troy City School District.

By 2015, more than two dozen P-TECH schools are expected to be in operation in New York.

P-TECH Partnerships:

Capital Region

  • Manufacturing – Business: GLOBALFOUNDRIES
    • Higher Education: SUNY Adirondack
    • K-12: Regional consortium led by Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES with fiscal lead Hudson Falls School District
  • Clean Technologies – Businesses: GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Cisco and TRC
    • Higher Education: Hudson Valley Community College
    • K-12: Regional consortium led by Ballston Spa School District
  • Advanced Manufacturing – Businesses: Center for Economic Growth, GE Health Care and Regeneron
    • Higher Education: Hudson Valley Community College
    • K-12: Regional consortium led by Questar III BOCES with fiscal lead Troy City School District

Central New York

  • Manufacturing – Businesses: Manufacturers Association of Central New York
    • Higher Education: Onondaga Community College
    • K-12: Syracuse City School District

Finger Lakes

  • Agri-Business & Advanced Manufacturing – Businesses: Genesee County Economic Development Center
    • Higher Education: Genesee Community College
    • K-12: Regional consortium led by Genesee Valley Educational Partnership with fiscal lead Byron-Bergen Central School District
  • Computer Systems Technology & Computer Information Systems – Businesses: Regional consortium led by Wegmans Food Markets
    • Higher Education: Monroe Community College
    • K-12: Rochester City School District

Hudson Valley

  • Information Technology – Business: IBM
    • Higher Education: SUNY Orange
    • K-12: Newburgh Enlarged City School District
  • Computer Information Technology, Engineering and Health & Green Building Technology – Businesses: Avon, Fairway Testing, All Bright Electric, Hightech Security Services and Wick Arborists
    • Higher Education: Rockland Community College, Westchester Community College and SUNY IT
    • K-12: Regional consortium led by Rockland BOCES with fiscal lead North Rockland Central School District
  • Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) – Businesses: Hudson Valley Council of Industry
    • Higher Education: Ulster Community College, Dutchess Community College, Orange Community College, Sullivan Community College and SUNY New Paltz
    • K-12: Regional consortium led by Ulster BOCES with fiscal lead Kingston City School District
  • Architecture – Businesses: Fuller D’Angelo and Yonkers Workforce Investment Board
    • Higher Education: Westchester Community College
    • K-12: Yonkers Public Schools

Long Island

  • Mechanical Engineering – Business: Arkwin Industries
    • Higher Education: Farmingdale State College
    • K-12: Regional consortium led by Uniondale Union Free School District

Mohawk Valley

  • Manufacturing – Businesses: 16 regional companies
    • Higher Education: Fulton-Montgomery Community College
    • K-12: Regional consortium led by Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES with fiscal lead Gloversville Enlarged City School District

New York City

  • Information Technology – Business: SAP
    • Higher Education: CUNY
    • K-12: New York City Department of Education

North Country

  • Manufacturing – Businesses: ETS, Fujitsu, Bombardier, Nova Bus, Spencer ARL, Swarovski and Camoplast.
    • Higher Education: Clinton Community College and Clarkson University
    • K-12: Regional consortium led by Peru Central School District

Southern Tier

  • Health-Tech & Manufacturing – Businesses: Lockheed Martin MS2, Rockwell-Collins, Delta Engineers, Architect & Land Surveyors, P.C., Bothar Construction, Our Lady of Lourdes Memorial Hospital, Inc., and United Health Services Hospitals, Inc.
    • Higher Education: Broome Community College
    • K-12: Regional consortium led by Binghamton City School District

Western New York

  • Health Care – Business: Catholic Health System
    • Higher Education: Trocaire College
    • K-12: Regional consortium led by Lackawanna City School District
Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.
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