DALLAS – In October of 2015, the Dallas Independent School District began exploring a new concept in early college high schools called P-Tech, or Pathways to Technology. What initially started as an exercise in exploration quickly became an initiative in planning and preparation to launch the first P-Tech ECHS in the State of Texas. In December 2015, Dallas ISD submitted an Application for Early College High School Designation for the Seagoville P-Tech Early College High School. Once the application was submitted, and with the support of the Texas Education Agency, the communication and recruitment efforts began. On August 22, 2016, with the support of Eastfield College, AT&T, the University of North Texas (Dallas Campus), and the University of Texas at Arlington, Seagoville P-Tech ECHS will open its doors to the first 9th grade cohort and graduating class of 2020.
Got Local News? Promote your events, meetings, weddings, engagements, births and other news at the area’s #1 news and information website! Click here to submit news!
The P-Tech concept was created as a solution to the growing economic crisis and lack of a skilled workforce in major growth industries such as information technology and advanced manufacturing. In 2011, “New York City Department of Education, the City University of New York, and IBM formed a partnership to focus the best efforts of the business and education sectors on preparing young people for college and middle-class careers.” IBM, which designed the first school in Brooklyn, recognized the financial benefits of this type of partnership and that by collaborating with public education they are able to invest in the future of their company by creating a skilled workforce. Additionally, a business and educational partnership develops the community from within — it is a catalyst to changing the economy and reducing poverty.
The P-Tech 9-14 program “combines academic rigor with career focus, where graduates will earn a high school diploma and a no-cost, industry-recognized associate’s degree, and will be first in line for jobs with the employer partner. Students are paired with mentors from the business community and gain practical workplace experience with paid internships. The innovative education model is designed to fill in-demand jobs in the United States, and ensure young people are college-and career-ready in the skills of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).”
The difference between the Seagoville P-Tech Early College High School and other early colleges within Dallas ISD is the framework which the model is based upon. Students are afforded the opportunity to select a career pathway and obtain the necessary skill set to achieve success in the college and/or a chosen career path.
Seagoville High School, in a collaboration with Eastfield College and the industry partner, will offer three pathways and degree plans for students: Electronics/Computer Systems Technician (AAS), Software Programmer Developer (AAS), and Business Administration (AAS). An advantage of the P-Tech model is an opportunity to graduate more students from college who are readily prepared to enter the workforce with the skills necessary for employment in higher paying jobs than their peers. In addition, students may also choose to continue their education by enrolling in 4 year universities or institutions in order to receive a bachelor’s degree, or higher.
There is a vast underrepresentation of low-income students in college. Seagoville P-Tech Early College High School can level the playing field by granting these lower-income students the ability to acquire college degrees, industry certifications, and workplace skills regardless of socioeconomic status.
The P-Tech ECHS program is an innovative and revolutionary educational model combining the traditional public high school with career pathway options and the early college concept providing our students with college and career ready skills in 21st century education.
Source: Dallas ISD