6-Year High School Prepares Students of Color for Work in STEM
Underwritten by IBM, P-TECH focuses on giving kids the tools to succeed in the STEM industryby Souleo
As politicians, scholars and activists debate the state of the nation’s education system there are initiatives being designed and implemented to develop the skills of students to compete within a competitive workforce. On September 8, 2011 the Department of Education, the City University of New York (CUNY) and IBM partnered to open, P-TECH an innovative New York City high school where students are educated an additional two years from grade 9 through 14. In addition to learning traditional core subjects, pupils receive education in the fields of STEM
(Science, technology engineering and mathematics), a high school diploma and an Associate’s degree in Applied Science (AAS) in Computer Systems Technology or Electromechanical Engineering Technology.
With IBM underwriting the program, students are given priority for select entry-level positions with the company. P-TECH opened with 104 first year students and will add an estimated 100 students per year, with a total projected enrollment of 400-450 students by 2014. Entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing the success of the school is founding principal, Rashid Ferrod Davis, an education veteran with over 15 years of experience as a teacher, assistant principal and, most recently, the principal of the highly celebrated, Bronx Engineering and Technology Academy (BETA). BlackEnterprise.com spoke with Davis recently to address the academic and socioeconomic challenges of students, promoting entrepreneurship, and his plans for P-TECH.