For New Brunswick’s students, P-TECH public-private partnership offers compelling, STEM-related educational and career opportunities.
Program provides associate degree along with high school diploma, plus connections with leading companies.
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (Dec. 3, 2018) – For New Brunswick students, it can be a springboard to professional success. When New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced last Tuesday (Nov. 27) that New Brunswick Public Schools – along with the Paterson and Burlington City school districts – would receive grants to implement the P-TECH (Pathway in Technology Early College High School) education model, he set in motion a program that will provide select students with a wealth of new opportunities. These include the chance to earn an associate degree in parallel with high school graduation and to participate in internship and mentee relationships connected to leading prospective employers.
P-TECH is a STEM-based, public-private partnership co-developed by IBM, which is intended to establish a clear pathway from high school, to college, to a career. New Brunswick Superintendent Dr. Aubrey Johnson already has plenty of ideas about how his district will utilize the program, which in New Brunswick Public Schools will focus on engineering.
“Many of our students are interested in careers in science, technology, engineering, and math, but until now, the path toward the necessary instruction – not to mention finding a job – hasn’t been clear,” Johnson says. “But this model changes all that. Now, there will be a clearly defined process for our students that can actually conclude with potentially being hired by one of the exceptional companies located in and around New Brunswick. I’m extremely appreciative of this opportunity that’s been presented to our district.”
Specifically, approximately 30 New Brunswick High School 9th graders will begin the P-TECH program in September of 2019. As they progress toward high school graduation following their senior year, they’ll be taking STEM-focused, college-level courses. The end result will be that when they graduate from New Brunswick High School, they’ll also be earning an associate degree from Middlesex County College in a specialized field.
And they’ll do so without incurring any tuition costs. That expense will be entirely covered by the program.
“It’s no secret that a primary barrier separating some students from college-level courses and an eventual degree is affordability,” Johnson notes. “The P-TECH program not only will provide college-level instruction to some very capable, talented students, but it will do so without forcing them into tuition debt.
And there’s even more to P-TECH. High schoolers participating in the program will have a variety of internship and mentee opportunities related to a range of New Brunswick-area companies. Specifics are pending, but the school district and city already maintain a number of industry partnerships, and we’re looking forward to developing additional relationships of this type.
“As an example, the district has already incorporated Edwards Engineering into the program, and we’re in discussions with many others,” Johnson explains. “Through experiences outside the classroom, they’ll provide P-TECH students with a chance to learn a great deal about the intricacies and nuances of professional environments. And some of these students may even be able to start careers with the companies they’re interning with.”
The P-TECH model already has been effectively implemented in eight states outside of New Jersey – Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, Rhode Island, and Texas -- as well as in several countries.
About New Brunswick Public Schools
The New Brunswick, NJ public school district consists of two high schools (New Brunswick High School and Health Sciences Technology High School), a middle school (New Brunswick Middle School) and nine elementary schools (Lincoln, Lincoln Annex, Livingston, Lord Stirling, McKinley, Redshaw, Roosevelt, Paul Robeson Community School for the Arts, and Woodrow Wilson schools). The New Brunswick Public Schools offer a comprehensive educational program for students in grades pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade and serves more than 10,000 students.