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.
Clean Technologies and Sustainable Industries Early College High School in Ballston Spa graduating class
The Office of Early College Initiatives is proud to report that 98% of our Smart Scholars students are on track to graduate from high school this year. A staple function of the Smart Scholars program is that hard-working students can earn up to 60 transferrable college credits before they graduate high school.
To celebrate our graduating Smart Scholars, we highlight an inaugural graduation class, a Gates Millennium Scholar and an ECHS program that reports a graduation rate about one-third higher than the district’s rate.
“Thank you to all of the Smart Scholars programs for participating in another successful Early College High School Week and to those who celebrate all year long by continuing to provide a quality and rigorous education to traditionally underrepresented students. To the school districts, for making early college a priority in your communities; to the teachers and faculty, for putting your students on the fast track to success through college and career readiness; and to the students, for working hard to ensure a brighter future for you and your families.”
-Andrea Mulkey, Director of Early College, SUNY/EDWorks
Preparing students for college-readiness and a career in Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) is not only a priority in the Governor’s 2013-2014 Executive Budget but also a program focus in 11 of New York’s Smart Scholars Early College High Schools. Since the program’s inception in Fall 2010, over 3,000 STEM-focused credits have been earned by over 1,000 students state-wide. We are pleased to introduce you to some of the Smart Scholars graduating from STEM-focused ECHSs.
SUNY’s Early College High School partnership with EDWorks and the State Education Department began when the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded a $6 million grant to launch New York’s Smart Scholars Initiative in late 2009. The mission was to make earning college credits accessible to traditionally underrepresented high school students and motivate students to not only graduate high school, but also pursue a higher education.
Nationally, The Early College High School Initiative has had enormous success. Serving a population encompassing 77% students of color, 57% students from low-income households and 45% first generation college goers, the average early college graduate earns 36 credits or 30% of a Bachelors degree and 60% of an Associate’s degree.
New York State’s 23 Smart Scholars programs have made it possible for over 5,100 students to earn over 8,723 transferable college credits in just two years. In honor of ECHS Week and the accomplishments Smart Scholars state-wide, we would like to highlight our longest running Early College High Schools, including the nation’s oldest, Bard High School Early College.