(Photo courtesy of IBM)
Gov. Larry Hogan is proposing an expansion for a high school career pathway program around the state in 2019.
P-TECH, which was developed with IBM, debuted in Maryland in 2016 with Baltimore’s Dunbar and Carver high schools among the initial sites. Students who participate in the six-year program graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree. The focus is on providing training in STEM subjects, such as health and cybersecurity. It brings in companies and universities to offer training, and is open to all students.
Ahead of the 2019 General Assembly session in Annapolis, the Hogan administration is proposing an expansion. The administration aims to do the following:
- Allow the program to expand beyond the initial eight schools.
- Lifts caps that allow for only one P-TECH planning grant per local school system.
- Provides $300,000 in new funding to provide planning grants for three additional schools. Further funding would be provided if additional partners emerge.
“Unfortunately under current law we are unable to expand and add these much needed additional P-TECH schools unitl the first group of P-TECH students graduate in 2022,” Hogan said at a news conference. “This innovative program is about giving children opportunities and the hope for a better future. The P-TECH model has a proven track record of success.”
Through the program, students are paired with an industry mentor, receive workforce learning and are eligible for paid internships. The students are also first in line for jobs with private sector partners.
For their part, companies have an interest in equipping more students with skills for tech jobs. Hogan said Exelon are interested in partnering with the state to develop a new school.
“With new technologies like artificial intelligence and quantum computing set to transform nearly all of the jobs we know today, equipping students with a new breed of in-demand skills has never been more important, and we commend the Governor for making 21st century partnerships in education a hallmark of his administration.” IBM Vice President and Global Head of Corporate Citizenship Guillermo Miranda said in a statement.
The legislative session in Annapolis opens January 9, 2019.
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