Students in the Capital Region will soon have a new way to earn a high school diploma and an associate’s degree in a high-tech field at no cost. And Mohonasen students will not have to leave campus to take advantage of the innovative partnership between area school districts, higher education and local businesses designed to give students a jump-start on a career in one of several high-tech fields.
Capital Region P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) is set to get underway in September 2018 under the leadership of Capital Region BOCES. It is a four- to six-year program (grades 9-14) that will engage students to help them be successful in careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The new program was formally announced Tuesday, April 17 after the New York State Education Department awarded a $3 million grant to establish the Capital Region P-TECH.
Initial diploma pathways for Capital Region P-TECH students include degrees in Computer Science, Computer Information Systems and Cybersecurity, and pathways will expand in 2019. P-TECH will be available at Mohonasen High School’s Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) building and Watervliet Junior-Senior High School.
The P-TECH program begins in the freshman year of high school. It is not open to students in other grades because of the custom curriculum. Current eighth-graders and their families are encouraged to learn more about the program.
Partners in P-TECH include 24 Capital Region school districts, two area community colleges (HVCC and SCCC) and six regional businesses. Students who successfully complete the P-TECH program will have priority opportunities for jobs with businesses like Dell, Cisco, GreaneTree Technology and MVP Health Care. They will also have access to training in employability skills and coaching from partners like Linium Recruiting and AlbanyCanCode.
In addition to giving students a new way to meet educational goals, the partnership with higher education and business is designed to fuel workforce development for local employers looking for application developers, systems analysts, system and network administrators, help desk support, information security analysts and security architects. According to the New York State Department of Labor, job opportunities in these areas are expected to grow 18.6 percent by 2024.