(Photo by Brady Dale, file)
A high school program that pulls together elements of high school, college and workforce training is set to arrive in Maryland, officials including Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday.
Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH), which was developed by IBM, follows a model of educating students from grades “9-14.” In that time, students receive a high school diploma, associate’s degree and additional workforce training. In most cases, the idea is to provide students with STEM skills so they’re ready for a job when the program is complete.
At the 40 schools where P-TECH been implemented nationwide, the program isn’t limited to certain students who are handpicked or identified as at-risk. But it aims to be all-encompassing. Along with involvement from high schools and universities, students are also assisted to industry partners that provide internships, mentoring and other direct job training.
A potential example was already on display Monday at the launch announcement. Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in East Baltimore was the site, and Johns Hopkins University President Ronald Daniels said that wasn’t by mistake.
“I will make no secret of the fact that Johns Hopkins is keenly interested in deepening our long-standing partnership with Dunbar, and opening a health-focused P-TECH school right here,” said Daniels, who first saw P-TECH during a 2012 visit to the school where the program originated in Brooklyn. In New York, the program was held up as a model before a student even graduated.
In JHU’s case, university staff could help students with the college work, and Johns Hopkins hospital staff could be the partners for hands-on career training.
“At the university and health system, we generate an arresting number of jobs each year which require skills and training. When we cannot fill those jobs — when there is a mismatch between our opportunities and our workforce — work slows down, services are not provided, and wait times increase,” Daniels said, according to a transcript. “P-TECH will help narrow that misalignment.”
P-TECH is initially being introduced as a $10 million pilot program with four Maryland high schools. Officials said two of the P-TECH pilot schools will be in Baltimore, but did not release details on which ones. Along with Hopkins, IBM and Kaiser Permanente are also looking to partner with Maryland schools.
Maryland’s embrace of the program comes as another 20 P-TECH schools are expected to open nationwide in 2016. As the program has expanded and been embraced by bigger partners like the White House, it’s been tweaked to target specific jobs.
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