SUNY’s Smart Scholar Early College High School program, in partnership with EDWorks, delivers early college technical assistance to 23 state-wide schools. The Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) is a part of the Smart Scholars initiative.
President Barack Obama visited P-TECH on October 25 to spotlight the innovative school structure and discuss education reform. The Brooklyn public school was a feature of his 2013 State of the Union address and the cutting-edge model is now being replicated nationwide, including 16 New York partnerships launching in 2014. The six-year program graduates students with a high-school degree, an associate’s degree and partners them with a mentor at I.B.M to help them attain a job in the technology industry.
Obama called P-Tech a ticket to the middle class. “Now at schools like P-Tech in Brooklyn, collaboration between New York public schools and City University of New York and IBM, students will graduate with a high school diploma and an associate’s degree,” Obama said. “We need to give every American student opportunities like this.”
Through the Smart Scholars program, higher education collaborates with public school districts or public charter schools to create Early College High School programs. These programs provide students who are traditionally underrepresented in post-secondary education with the opportunity, preparation, and support to accelerate the completion of their high school studies and graduate college and become career-ready.
At P-TECH, SUNY/EDWorks coaches provide technical assistance to staff to make sure the high standards at P-TECH apply to staff as well. By hosting professional development workshops and through in-class observation of instructional practices, they work with teachers to strengthen their cooperative teaching practices and interdisciplinary unit planning.