Governor Phil Murphy

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Governor Murphy Announces P-TECH Education Model for New Jersey


Model creates a pathway for students to earn a high school diploma and Associate degree and move on to high-demand, innovation economy jobs

PATERSON – Governor Phil Murphy today announced that three New Jersey high schools will receive funding to implement the P-TECH educational model for the 2019-2020 school year. The P-TECH (Pathway in Technology Early College High School) model, co-developed by IBM, spans grades 9-14 and brings together public high schools, community colleges, and businesses to create a clear pathway from high school to college to career. Participating students at the three P-TECH schools, located in Burlington City, New Brunswick, and Paterson, will graduate with a high school diploma, Associate degrees in competitive STEM fields and workplace experiences such as mentorships and internships, within six years. Supporting STEM-focused high school programs and increasing degree attainment for all residents are key to the Economic Plan that the Governor announced last month.  

“Through this innovative partnership, students will receive a high-quality education and gain in-demand skills that employers need in the 21st century, while employers will gain a diverse pipeline of skilled employees,” said Governor Murphy. “I am thrilled that we are bringing this model to New Jersey. It will enable New Jersey’s bright young minds to flourish and help prepare the next generation of leaders. By providing students with the skills needed for these high-wage, high-skill jobs, New Jersey is strengthening its talent base to remain economically competitive for years to come.”

The P-TECH model integrates high school and college coursework into a six-year educational experience. Participating students will earn their high school diploma and their Associate degree, graduating with the skills and credentials required for ongoing education and future careers. A key hallmark of the program is the close partnership forged among the comprehensive high school, community college, and industry partners to ensure students master academic, technical, and professional skills such as problem solving and collaboration, which together put them on a clear pathway to in-demand career skill mastery and overall educational success. The industry partners work closely with their high school and community college partners to ensure alignment with in-demand industry skills and provide mentoring, workplace visits, speaker presentations, and paid internships. Graduates are first in line for jobs with industry partners.

The Governor was joined by Grace Suh, IBM’s Vice President of Education. IBM was a critical part of developing the educational model. The P-TECH model has demonstrated significant success and has been implemented in eight other states: Louisiana, Texas, New York, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Colorado, and Illinois.

“P-TECH is a true collaboration between public education, the private sector, and policymakers serving as champions for a new kind of high school poised to transform how we teach our young people for the world of today and the future,” said Jennifer Ryan Crozier, President of the IBM Foundation and VP of IBM Corporate Citizenship. “We're proud to bring this sustainable and scalable P-TECH model to the students of New Jersey, and to help create seamless pathways for them to gain competitive STEM careers.”

Start-up funding for P-TECH schools was included in this year’s budget and has been augmented with federal Perkins funding. The New Jersey Department of Education is coordinating this initiative.   

“This initiative capitalizes on the collaboration of schools, businesses, and community colleges,” said Department of Education Commissioner Lamont O. Repollet. “In the end, young people in traditionally underserved communities will benefit with new pathways to success in high-demand STEM fields.”

“P-TECH has an established track record for accelerating high school students’ progress toward a college degree and a career-starting job,” said Dr. Zakiya Smith Ellis, New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education. “These high school and business partnerships will provide students with unique work-based learning experiences AND degree credit to prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.”

“We are building the workforce of tomorrow right here and right now,” said New Jersey Department of Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “By implementing the P-TECH model, we are making another great investment that will ensure the Garden State’s workforce is most highly educated and highly skilled in the nation.”  

The three participating comprehensive high schools for the 2019-2020 school year are Paterson’s PANTHER Academy, New Brunswick High School, and Burlington City High School. PANTHER’s corporate partner will be IBM; New Brunswick’s corporate partner will be Edwards Engineering; and Burlington’s corporate partner will be Centryco Inc. The P-TECH model could be expanded to other comprehensive high schools throughout New Jersey for subsequent school years.