History of P-TECH

The NYC Grades 9-14 school model was born out of a very clear need: the need to train more students to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Employers are finding that many young adults are coming to work without the relevant skills needed for succeed in these sectors, particularly growing industries that are looking for employees with technical skills. This “skills gap” issue has long been a problem and continues to be a challenge in the United States in the 21st century.

Recognizing that developing a solution necessitated unprecedented cross-sector collaboration, in 2011, IBM teamed up with the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and the City University of New York (CUNY) to tackle this challenge. Building on DOE’s history of career and technical education and CUNY’s early college high schools in New York City, these partners devised a model linking classroom learning from high school and college with industry-based skills training that lead directly to jobs.

In September 2011, the first grade 9-14 career and technical education high school opened in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Pathways in Technology Early College High School, or “P-TECH,” emphasizes STEM subjects and blends free, public high schooling with community college courses at CUNY’s New York City College of Technology. From the beginning, the partnership between private and public institutions emphasized that the P-TECH school would be open to all students interested in the school’s STEM focus and related Associate degree, which would be offered at no cost to their families. By successfully completing a six-year sequence of high school, college, as well as work-based learning program including internships and apprenticeships, Brooklyn’s P-TECH has been designed for students to be considered “first-in-line” for jobs at IBM.

Since then, cities across the nation have continued to open schools based on the P-TECH model, including in Chicago, Illinois and Norwalk, Connecticut. New York State also continues to support and expand P-TECH schools throughout the state. There are over 30 New York State P-TECH schools to date and ten such schools in New York City.