P-TECH is the Best Thing to Happen to High School

My son is a full-time college student, and my daughter graduated nearly three years ago. But if I had a high school–age child at home today, I would definitely look into P-TECH as an option.

I’ve written about P-TECH before and how it’s taking over the world. Yes, that’s right. The program has been exported to Australia and Morocco. The combination of STEM-focused academics, graduating with a free associate degree within six years, and career and technical education is proving formidable.

Here’s an excerpt from the Dallas News about the P-TECH model coming to Texas.

There is a bright spot, though [despite the “growing gap between jobs and the skilled workers to fill them”], and it’s called P-TECH (Pathways to Technology Early College High School). It’s a new six-year career and technical education model pioneered by IBM and serving 20,000 U.S. students at 90 schools in seven U.S. states, Australia and Morocco.


Created through robust public-private partnerships, P-TECH enables students to spend six years or less earning both their high school diplomas and no-cost associate degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Along the way, they acquire the skills required for ongoing education or entry-level careers. Students take integrated high school and college coursework and participate in workplace experiences.


Following thorough planning by the Dallas Independent School District and the Dallas County Community College District, including a visit to the flagship school in New York, Dallas has joined P-TECH’s rapid expansion. Early results from the 18 P-TECH model schools in Dallas — the largest-scale district-wide expansion of the model — are encouraging, with high levels of attendance and college readiness.


“When people say ‘college isn’t for everyone,’ they really mean that not everyone needs a four-year degree,” said Joe May, chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District. “Jobs are changing and require an education system that prepares high schoolers for college and the workforce with a living wage. P-TECH is a transformative collaboration between high schools, universities, employers, and non-profits to dramatically improve upward mobility.”


The model is working. P-TECH Brooklyn’s graduation rate is four times higher than the national on-time average for all community college students and exceeds the rate for low-income students. P-TECH students have also achieved high pass rates for college courses without remedial work. A majority of the school’s graduates have transitioned to four-year universities and more than a dozen have accepted jobs at IBM, its corporate partner.

Read more at Dallas News.