b'High School Students taking College Classes?Maplewood author Tina Kelleys newest bookdemystifies an exciting new education modelBY MALIA RULON HERMANI magine being able to complete the firstentry-level job at one of the programs partner twoyearsofcollegewhilestillinhighcompanies, most of which are in the STEM schoolat no additional cost. Now imag- fields(science,technology,engineering,and ine if this opportunity were available tomath). Some P-TECH schools also offer path-everyone, especially students who other- ways into health care or teaching. wise wouldnt attend college. At a P-TECH school in northern New York, MaplewoodresidentTinaKelleysfor example, students can earn associate degrees newest book, Breaking Barriers: How P-TECHin human services, health sciences and chemical Schools Create a Pathway from High School to Col- dependency counseling, leading to entry-level lege to Career, shows how that is possible underjobs as activities leaders, dental assistants, care a new educational model that is catching on incoordinatorsandresidentcounselors.Addi-hundreds of districts across the country. Her co- tional education and accreditation can lead to author is Stanley S. Litow, who as former Deputyjobs as a social worker, case manager, substance Schools Chancellor for New York City and for- abuse counselor, clinical dietician, medical cod-mer President of the IBM Foundation, was inte- summer classes and access to tutoring and weekender, massage therapist or EMT.gral in developing the P-TECH schools program.study halls; guidance counselors; frequent studentThis said, four out of five recent P-TECH graduates SowhatsP-TECH?ItstandsforPathwaysinassessments; industry mentors and paid internships.have headed off to four-year colleges, with two years Technology Early College High School, and was de- We have the tools to build schools in which allalready completed, without debt, with some studying veloped by IBM and launched in Brooklyn in 2011.children thrive. Its long past time we recognized thatfor degrees in fields unrelated to their associate degree. P-TECH schools offer a smooth and supporteddoing so is among our societys most important tasks,The rest have gone to work for technology companies, six-year route from 9thgrade to college to a career inwrites Randi Weingarten, president of the Americanusually those associated with their program. the technology sector.Federation of Teachers, in the books foreword.The companies, including IBM, re-worked the Everyone should have a smooth, supportive highStudents who enroll in this free program gradu- qualifications for entry-level jobs, which previously schoolexperience,right?saysKelley,explainingate from high school, as well as earn their associatehad required four-year college degrees, to be more that while the model is focused on places where thedegree from a local community college. The pro- flexible. As a result, P-TECH can offer access to a kids are at risk, many of the components of the pro- gram takes six years, although some students havefree, two-year college degree in STEM to students gram would benefit anyone: teachers who believe incompleted it in four. who might not otherwise have it, while also creating you and expect excellence; challenging coursework;P-TECH graduates are then given priority for ana pool of qualified and skilled workers from diverse 30/ matters magazine / summer 2021'