Program Allows Students to Graduate with High School Diploma and Associate Degree
TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today announced a grant award of nearly $200,000 to bring the P-TECH educational model to Trenton Central High School. P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) is a model co-developed by IBM through which public high schools, community colleges, and businesses work collaboratively to create a program where high school students graduate with a high school diploma and an associate degree in a STEM field. Students in the six-year program also receive workplace experience through mentorships and internships.
“A cornerstone of our Jobs NJ initiative is ensuring that we have a workforce that has received a high-quality education and that has the high-demand skills employers need in the 21st century,” said Governor Murphy. “Programs like this will bring innumerable benefits to graduates and their families, to local businesses, and to the New Jersey economy. I am proud of the continued expansion of P-TECH and of the innovative approaches we are taking in New Jersey to prepare our students for the future.”
Supporting STEM-focused high school programs and increasing degree attainment for all residents are key strategies in Governor Murphy’s Jobs NJ initiative, which aims to align the state’s workforce with high-growth job opportunities. The expansion of the P-TECH model to the Trenton School District increases the number of New Jersey school districts with the program to four. Last school year, Burlington City, New Brunswick, and Paterson launched the P-TECH dual-enrollment program.
IBM played a critical role in the development of the P-TECH educational model, which has been implemented or is in the process of being implemented in 10 other states besides New Jersey.
The Trenton Central High School program will partner with Mercer County Community College to provide the coursework needed to obtain a higher-education degree in a STEM field. The school’s industry partner, which will provide mentors and internships, is M&S Centerless Grinding, a manufacturer of highly specialized parts that are used in the medical, aerospace, power generation, fiberoptic, and tech fields.
“This program taps into the combined power of the community by bringing together the school district, local industry, and higher education,” said Dr. Lamont O. Repollet, Commissioner of Education. “The students taking part in this program will have an amazing opportunity to graduate with not only a high-school diploma, but an associate degree and the skills needed for success in a high-demand STEM career.”
“This program is going to be life changing for so many students. The STEM industry is growing rapidly and offers stable, high paying jobs,” said Senator Shirley Turner. “By increasing access to STEM education for low income students, this funding will put countless students on a true pathway to the middle class.”
“It isn’t at all uncommon for a student to leave high school wondering how they’ll get to where they want to be in life," said Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli. "College and career choices can be difficult to navigate, especially without guidance. Initiatives like P-TECH take a comprehensive approach to preparing students for their futures at an early age. It’s another way we can give students the tools to thrive academically and professionally."
“A high school diploma will validate the beginning of students working towards a career in a STEM field," said Assemblywoman Reynolds Jackson. "They will also need post-secondary education, internships or workplace experience; sometimes all three. P-TECH programs give students access to all of these opportunities, setting them on a pathway to a successful career before they even graduate high school. This program will undoubtedly help TCHS grow, which in turn will help our students flourish. ” “We are excited that Governor Murphy is including Trenton Central High School in the State’s P-TECH partnership, which integrates high school and college curriculum with our Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs,” said Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora. “P-TECH is designed to make a direct connection for our students to jobs in the industry including IT, advanced manufacturing, healthcare and finance. These are essential tools for preparing our youth for the jobs of tomorrow.”