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Colorado P-Tech Project Off the Ground

Denver, CO – Earlier this month, the Colorado Department of Higher Education, along with the Colorado Department of Education, rolled out guidelines for how to start a “Pathways in Technology Early College High School” (P-TECH) in Colorado.

P-TECH schools are public six-year high schools where students can attain an industry-recognized associate degree, as well as a high school diploma. The schools are operated as a partnership between a school district, community college and an employer in a high-growth industry, and offer an education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses.

The schools must provide students with mentoring, internship, pre-apprenticeship and other workplace educational experiences.

“I’m excited to see us moving forward on P-TECH,” says Crisanta Duran, majority leader for the Colorado House of Representatives and sponsor of the legislation to create the P-TECH program. “P-TECH schools will provide students with an education that's explicitly designed to connect them with good-paying jobs in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.”

By 2020, approximately 74 percent of jobs in Colorado will require a postsecondary credential.

“One goal behind P-TECH schools is to provide a direct pipeline from studying to working and earning a living wage,” says Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia, executive director of Colorado Department of Higher Education. “Colorado is fortunate to have a number of innovative businesses that are hungry for talented workers, and P-TECH schools will help fulfill workforce needs.”

The Colorado Department of Higher Education and the Colorado Department of Education will jointly approve new P-TECH schools in Colorado.

The P-TECH model started in Brooklyn with a partnership between New York City Public Schools, City University of New York, and IBM. Now there are numerous P-TECH schools in New York, Connecticut, and Illinois, and by 2016 there will be an estimated 100 P-TECH schools.

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