An innovative high school program led by Capital Region BOCES is partnering business and industry, higher education and K-12 education to help the Capital Region address two issues that adversely impact the regional economy—rising student loan debt and employers struggling to find qualified workers.
Capital Region Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) is a four to six year program (grades 9-14) focused on engaging students in hands-on, project-based learning to be successful in careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Students who successfully complete the program earn a high school diploma and an associate’s degree at no cost in a high-tech field. Graduates are first in line for a job with industry partners in the growing field of information technology.
P-TECH is offered to students throughout the region through a consortium that includes Capital Region BOCES, the Capital Region Chamber, Hudson Valley Community College and SUNY Schenectady County Community College.
Questions and Answers About P-TECH
What kind of student is a good candidate for P-TECH?
A student who will succeed at P-TECH is:
- Motivated to learn in new and exciting ways.
- Innovative and creative.
- Interested in applying science, technology, engineering and math to their everyday learning.
- Works well in a collaborative team environment.
- Thrives in a non-traditional classroom setting.
P-TECH is designed for students who want to do something different with their high school career. Students of all academic achievement levels are encouraged to apply. The goal is for the school to have a typical student body that mirrors the collective demographics of the Capital Region. Special effort will be made to recruit and support students who are considered academically and/or economically at-risk; populations that historically lack access or success in higher education; and students from Focus or Priority schools.
Where will the program be located?
Students will be able to choose from one of two sites, and must remain there for the duration of the program.
Each site offers a distinct pathway that leads to an associate’s degree from a neighboring college.
Watervliet Junior-Senior High School (East Campus)
- Computer Information Systems Pathway – Earn an Associate in Science degree or Associate in Applied Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Hudson Valley Community College.
- Cybersecurity Pathway – Earn an Associate in Science degree in Cybersecurity from Hudson Valley Community College.
Mohonasen High School (West Campus)
- Computer Science Pathway – Earn an Associate in Science degree in Computer Science from Schenectady County Community College.
The ideal cohort is 30 students per site (60 students total). Additional cohorts of 30 will be added each year.
How will P-TECH be paid for?
A consortium of Capital Region BOCES, its component school districts, Hudson Valley Community College, Schenectady County Community College and six businesses applied for and received a statewide grant for $2.5 million in spring 2018 to launch Capital Region P-TECH. Watervliet City School District is the lead fiscal agency in the grant. School districts pay a tuition fee for students they send to P-TECH, for which they can be partially reimbursed through BOCES aid. The grant covers the rest of the costs associated with the school.
What college costs are covered for students enrolled in P-TECH?
All tuition for credits, labs and books are covered, and P-TECH students are granted the same privileges as other Hudson Valley Community College and Schenectady County Community College students. However, room and board are not included.
Are there built-in supports to help students with the transition to P-TECH?
New students entering P-TECH are required to attend a week-long “Summer Bridge” program that provides the chance to get acquainted with each other and to participate in activities that let them take the lead in developing their school’s culture. Team building activities and workplace tours with business partners are part of the program.
What role do business partners play?
Business partners will serve as mentors by providing students with work site visits, job shadowing, field experiences and more. Learn more about becoming a business partner with Capital Region Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH).
Do P-TECH students take part in their home high school graduation?
Yes, students will be able to walk with their peers during graduation, although they won’t actually receive their diploma until they leave the P-TECH program.