Cuomo invests in early college high schools

by Eric Randall

On Board Online • September 23, 2013

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior writer

Sixteen regional partnerships have been selected to test-drive a statewide Early College High School-style approach that will help students earn high school diplomas and associate degrees at no cost to their families and prepare them for careers in skilled technical fields.

The public-private initiative announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo is known by the acronym P-TECH, which stands for Pathways in Technology Early College High School, and the schedule calls for the first class of students to be enrolled in September 2014. At least one of the programs selected – a clean tech program established by the Ballston Spa Central School District – already is operating and is developing plans to expand with the additional funding.

Cuomo included money for NYS P-TECH in his 2013-14 budget, and a news release from his office indicates that additional funding and support is anticipated through the State Education Department. Cuomo’s office did not respond to requests for information about the cost of the program or sources of funding.

Each of the 16 new P-TECH partnerships features a three-way alliance that includes a local public school district or consortium of districts, a local business or group of businesses, and one or more SUNY or CUNY educational institutions. Leading industries in each of the state’s 10 Regional Economic Development Council areas were selected for educational focus through a competitive process, according to Cuomo’s office.

The state-created NYS P-TECH design echoes IBM’s Pathways in Technology Early College High School in New York City, also known as P-TECH. Typically, the partnerships will offer high school students access to college-level courses and credits, as well as internships and other opportunities for workplace exposure and experience.

The linkage of rigorous academics with career opportunities should help New York fill millions of anticipated “middle skill” jobs in the next decade, predicted IBM Foundation President Stanley S. Litow, who also is vice president of corporate citizenship and corporate affairs at IBM.

The business fields targeted with the local partnerships include manufacturing, agri-business; clean technologies; computer information and systems technology; architecture; health tech and manufacturing; health care; mechanical engineering; and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher described the partnerships as a mechanism that will connect high schools, colleges and employers “through a single challenging curriculum that keeps students focused, engaged and excited.”

One of the collaboratives selected is the Clean Technologies & Sustainable Industries early college high school program founded by the Ballston Spa School District in partnership with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) in 2011-12. The program now has 110 students enrolled from 20 high schools.

In June of this year, the first full graduating class of 21 students completed the Ballston Spa program. Of the students in that class, 13 will continue their education at HVCC, two are entering other two-year colleges, four will attend four-year colleges and two are entering the military, said Ballston Spa spokesman Stuart Williams.

While regional partnership budgets are negotiated and go through an approval process in the coming months, most of the selected coalitions are expected to spend the 2013-14 school year recruiting students, training teachers and principals and making other preparations.

Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. said the innovative P-TECH model “keeps students engaged in school and learning” and “provides excellent career opportunities for students when they graduate.”

The 16 NYS P-TECH partnerships, listed by region and career field of focus, are:

Capital Region

Manufacturing: K-12 consortium led by Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES with a fiscal lead from Hudson Falls School District. Business partner is Global Foundries. Higher education partner is SUNY Adirondack.

Clean Technologies: K-12 consortium led by Ballston Spa High School. Business partners are Global Foundries, Cisco and TRC. Higher education partner is Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC).

Advanced manufacturing: K-12 consortium led by Questar III BOCES with fiscal lead by Troy City School District. Business partners are Center for Economic Growth, GE Health Care and Regeneron. Higher education partner is HVCC.

Central New York

Manufacturing: Syracuse City School District. Business partner is the Manufacturers Association of Central New York. Higher education partner is Onondaga Community College.

Finger Lakes

Agri-Business & Advanced Manufacturing: K-12 regional consortium led by Genesee Valley Educational Partnership with fiscal lead by Byron-Bergen Central School District. Business partner is Genesee County Economic Development Center. Higher education partner is Genesee Community College.

Computer Systems Technology & Computer Systems Information: Rochester City School District. Business partner is a regional consortium led by Wegmans Food Markets. Higher education partner is Monroe Community College.

Hudson Valley

Information Technology: Newburgh Enlarged City School District. Business Partner is IBM. Higher education partner is SUNY Orange (Orange County Community College).

Computer Information Technology, Engineering and Health & Green Building Technology: K-12 regional consortium led by Rockland BOCES with fiscal lead by North Rockland Central School District. Higher education partners are Rockland Community College, Westchester Community College and SUNY IT. Business partners are Avon, Fairway Testing, All Bright Electric, Hightech Security Services and Wick Arborists.

Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM): K-12 regional consortium led by Ulster BOCES with fiscal lead by Kingston City School District. Higher education partners are Ulster, Dutchess, Orange and Sullivan community colleges and SUNY New Paltz. Business partner is Hudson Valley Council of Industry.

Architecture: Yonkers Public Schools. Higher education partner is Westchester Community College. Business partners are Fuller D’Angelo and Yonkers Workforce Investment Board.

Long Island

Mechanical Engineering: K-12 regional consortium led by Uniondale Union Free School District. Higher education partner is Farmingdale State College. Business partner is Arkwin Industries.

Mohawk Valley

Manufacturing: K-12 regional consortium led by Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES with fiscal lead by Gloversville Enlarged School District. Higher education partner is Fulton-Montgomery Community College. Business partners are 16 regional companies.

New York City

Information Technology: NYC Department of Education. Higher education partner is CUNY. Business partner is SAP.

North Country

Manufacturing: K-12 regional consortium led by Peru Central School District. Higher education partners are Clinton Community College and Clarkson University. Business partners are ETS, Fujitsu, Bombardier, Nova Bus, Spencer ARL, Swarovski and Camoplast.

Southern Tier

Health-Tech & Manufacturing: K-12 regional consortium led by Binghamton City School District. Higher education partner is Broome Community College. Business partners are: Lockheed Martin MS2; Rockwell-Collins; Delta Engineers, Architect & Land Surveyors; Bothar Construction; Our Lady of Lourdes Memorial Hospital; and United Health Services Hospitals.

Western New York

Health Care: K-12 regional consortium led by Lackawanna City School by District. Higher education partner is Trocaire College. Business partner is Catholic Health System.

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