State officials are to announce today that Connecticut’s first P-TECH model school will open in September.
P-TECH stands for Pathways in Technology Early College High School, and by the start of the next academic year there will be about 27 of these schools across the country.
The schools integrate high school and college curricula for grades nine through 14. Students who complete the program graduate with both a high school diploma and an associates degree in applied science at no cost.
Graduates are also first in line for job opportunities at companies like IBM.
In Connecticut, IBM is partnering with Norwalk Public Schools and Norwalk Community College to create the Norwalk Early College Academy.
IBM vice president Stanley Litow said the program embeds in every course the kinds of workplace skills necessary for students to be successful. "It also includes mentoring," he said, "[and] lots of interaction with people in the workplace, so they can understand why I’m studying, and what this content and material is going to prepare me for. [It] provides a special, seamless entry from high school courses into the community college courses."
There are no tests or screenings required for admission. The new school will be located at Norwalk High School.