President Barack Obama has acknowledged IBM's key role in creating a new education model that will build technical skills and fill good jobs in the United States. This new education model, called Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH), is a system of innovative public schools spanning grades 9 to 14 that bring together the best elements of high school, college, and career. This new breed of school is building national momentum.
Reinventing education isn't new at IBM. The company has long brought together the education community together to help establish national standards. Figuring prominently in IBM's philanthropic portfolio is the support given to the education community, from kindergarten all the way through college, as well as to not-for-profits involved that support non-traditional students. To that end, IBM supports improved career and technical education, particularly for the topics of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), subjects that contribute to societal improvement and economic development.
Experts are troubled that STEM studies are not sufficiently emphasized in the United States. This is a missed opportunity, in particular, for the socio-economically disadvantaged. Even graduates with technical skills are often at a disadvantage because they have no prior exposure to the workplace, which demands proficiency in social and business skills. At the same, demand for college graduates with STEM skills is growing.
IBM believes that the public, private and not-for-profit sectors should partner with one another to create a new model for STEM education and workplace preparedness. To foster collaboration among these communities, IBM developed a career and technical education model that emphasizes STEM subjects, and blends free, public high schooling with community college. This new breed of grades 9-14 public school pairs students, who are admitted with no special tests or requirements, with mentors from the business community and provides practical workplace experience with internships. It provides students with a solid foundation across the core academic curriculum linked directly to common core standards.
How it Works
IBM's Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH) are innovative public schools spanning grades 9 to 14 that bring together the best elements of high school, college, and career. Within a six-year, structured, and integrated timeframe, students graduate with a no-cost associates degree in applied science, engineering, computers and related disciplines, along with the skills and knowledge they need to continue their studies or step seamlessly into well paying, high potential jobs in the information technology arena for multiple industries. This model was designed to be both widely replicable and sustainable as part of a national effort to reform career and technical education.
Corporate partners, having helped shape the curriculum and interacted with these students for years, will feel comfortable putting them "at the head of the line" when they apply for entry level jobs after graduation. For its part, IBM is guaranteeing job interviews for qualified graduates of P-TECH schools affiliated with the company.
IBM created a detailed blueprint for how this model can be replicated elsewhere in the US, and has made it publicly available. Called “STEM Pathways to College and Careers Schools: A Development Guide,” the document outlines specific details such as designing a curriculum and related assessments, creating an integrated college experience, and building a strong teaching faculty.
- The first school to adopt this model was an IBM P-TECH school that opened in the fall of 2011. It is a collaboration between IBM and the New York City Department of Education, City University of New York, and New York City College of Technology.
- In September 2012, IBM, in partnership with the Chicago Public Schools, City Colleges of Chicago and Richard J. Daley College, helped open Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy, a grades 9-14 public school near the southwest side of Chicago. It enables students to graduate with a no-cost associate’s degree from Richard J. Daley College.
- In 2013, NY State announced that it will establish 16 such schools. New York City also has plans to open more. The model is also being adopted in rural areas, such as Idaho. IBM is assisting in all of these initiatives. US President Barack Obama has praised IBM's role in developing this education model.
Here are links to official announcements and CitizenIBM blog posts that chronicle the rollout and growing momentum of the P-TECH model:
City of Chicago: "Building a Smarter Chicago," by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
State of New York: "The Pathway From Education to Employment in New York State," by IBM Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs Stanley S. Litow
Idaho State Department of Education:
New York City Department of Education: NYC Department of Education Announces Three New Early College and Career Technical Education High Schools
|25 Oct 2013||MEDIA ALERT: President Obama to Visit IBM'S P-TECH School in Brooklyn, NY|
|28 Feb 2012||IBM Unveils Playbook for U.S. Cities to Develop Grades 9-14 Schools That Prepare Students for Technology Jobs|
President Obama Visits P-TECH School in Brooklyn, NY
Date added: 25 Oct 2013
IBM Chairman and CEO Ginni Rometty (center), joins New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Senator Charles Schumer at President Obama's visit to the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) in Brooklyn, N.Y. on October 25, 2013. IBM helped establish P-TECH in 2011 by partnering with the NYC Department of Education, the City University of New York and the New York College of Technology. The IBM P-TECH education model is being replicated in New York and other states. (Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM) More info: Donna Mattoon (518) 852-3113.
IBM Creates New School to Accelerate Technology Skills
Date added: 07 Sep 2011
In Brooklyn, N.Y., teacher Tanya Spence (right), Principal Rashid Ferrod Davis (left) and IBM Citizenship Vice President Stanley Litow prepare for a class at Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH), a new type of school sponsored by IBM that helps students attain the skills for careers in the technology industry. The new school, which opens on September 8, 2011, is a collaboration between IBM, the New York City Department of Education and the City University of New York. IBM is helping develop the teaching curriculum and providing individual mentors for every student.
IBM Creates New School to Accelerate Technology Skills
Date added: 07 Sep 2011
In Brooklyn, New York, IBM Vice President of Citizenship Stanley Litow (left) and Principal Rashid Ferrod Davis (right) discuss the opening of Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH), a new grades 9-14 school opening on September 8. The school is a collaboration between the New York City Department of Education, the City University of New York and IBM and is designed to prepare students to fill entry-level careers in technology fields.
U.S. Secretary of Education Duncan Visits P-TECH School in NYC
Date added: 23 Oct 2012
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan works with Josian Estrella, tenth grader, in an Algebra class at P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School), a grades 9-14 school that combines high school and college with career and technical education, Tuesday, October 23, 2012 in Brooklyn, NY. The school is a collaboration with the New York City Department of Education, the City University of New York and IBM and is designed to prepare students to fill entry-level jobs in technology fields. (Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM)
Do the Math (Infographic)
Date added: 13 Feb 2013
An educational background in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills are critical for high school and community college graduates in the US to obtain good jobs, which are plentiful for those with the right skills. However, most students don't complete their studies at community college, and have a mediocre or poor background in STEM subjects. In his 2013 State of the Union address, U.S. President Barack Obama has urged the education community and private sector to use IBM's blueprint for replicating the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) model. This grades 9-14 school in Brooklyn, and similar schools in Chicago, provide students with associates degrees in technology, workplace experience, mentorships, and preferred consideration for a job at a partner corporation when they graduate. (Credit: IBM)
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