Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) is a New York City public high school that opened in September 2011. It was developed through a unique partnership between the IBM corporation, City University of New York - City Tech, and the New York City Department of Education. The school focuses on postsecondary pathways in the area of Information Technology, helping a diverse group of students enter into this highly competitive field. The grades 9-14 will be a unique hollege (high school and two years of college).
P-TECH, as the school is known, was developed by a steering committee composed of the three partner organizations which founded the school. It is led by the principal, Rashid F. Davis, a long-time educator and the former principal of another small, technology-oriented school, Bronx Engineering and Technology Academy. BETA is well known as a successful unscreened high school in New York City, due to the school's number of AP courses and high rate of college attendance.
The school is located in the same building as Paul Robeson High School, in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn.
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A unique academic program makes P-TECH a noteworthy school even beyond the partnership with CUNY and IBM. Students will focus on STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology & Math) subject areas, preparing them for a variety of exciting career options. The school will further focus on Information Technology, equipping students to excel in an increasingly digital world. Technology is at the forefront of students' experiences at P-TECH, and the school offers academics structured for students to master competencies related to IT.
In addition, students are given exceptional exposure to the world of work through internships and extensive real world experience. IBM and other partner organizations will provide mentors for students. P-Tech was mentioned by President Obama on the February 12, 2013 State of the Union address.
College and Career Readiness
P-TECH is unique in the many enrichment opportunities available to its students. With a focus on the transition from high school to college and a career, the school integrates college and career readiness into every aspect of the school's program. Through the close partnership with IBM, students are able to intern both at IBM and a variety of other corporations in New York. In addition, students can receive mentoring and other work readiness training from professionals in the IT field.
However, the school doesn't focus solely on career readiness. Preparing students for college-level work is also a major part of the school's mission; this is seen through the early college high school program at P-TECH. Students take classes at New York City College of Technology during their high school years, with the opportunity to earn an associate degree at no cost. After four years at P-TECH, students may finish their undergraduate studies at City Tech or another institution, or they may be able to move directly into a career in IT.
P-TECH will be a small school, with classes of roughly 100 students each year. It opens in 2011 with a 9th grade class, growing over the next three years into a fully enrolled school with expected enrollment of 400-450. Unlike the city's specialized high schools, students are admitted to P-TECH on the basis of interest only. It is a limited-unscreened school, meaning that preference is given to students who express interest in the school either by attending an information session or through other means. There is no exam required.
As a result, P-TECH will enroll a diverse group of students from New York City, reflecting the multicultural makeup of city students as a whole. Students who are traditionally underrepresented in college and in the IT industry will be assisted in moving along a personalized pathway to achieve success in college and the workforce as well.
The only requirements of prospective students is an interest in technology/STEM and a willingness to do whatever it takes to succeed. The school will require expanded learning time, which is necessary for students to accelerate past high school content into what is traditionally seen as college territory.
In October of 2013, P-TECH High School was visited by President Barack Obama as a part of the president's message to steer American students into STEM careers and to promote access to college. At the insistence of Principal Mr. Rashid F. Davis, President Obama came into the community that services P-TECH students and in which many of P-TECH's students live rather. This community is also home to historic Weeksville, an independent free Black community established John Weeks and other free Blacks in 1838.
In partnership with GOOGLE and Paramount Pictures, and due to the generosity and assistance of philanthropist husband and wife team, Mr. Bruce Gordon and Mrs. Tawana Tibbs, P-TECH High School became the only school in the nation to receive a free and private screening of the Ava DuVernay directed and Oprah Winfrey produced movie, SELMA, in January of 2015. Paramount pictures issued a press release of this special event that served to help celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Selma Marches and the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
- Official website
- Pathways in Technology Early College High School on Twitter
- Mention in 2011 Brooklyn State of the Borough