A city in upstate New York will fast track low-income students into well-paid technical jobs by providing them with with training, mentoring and networking opportunities. Poughkeepsie High School partnered with a gas corporation to teach students the skills needed for jobs in technology and engineering and with a local university to give them college-level math and science courses. Eighty-six percent of Poughkeepsie students live below the poverty line.
Results & Impact
The six-year-long E-TECH program is yet to produce graduates, but the first two year groups, of around 50 pupils each, have been enrolled and begun the course
Poughkeepsie High School, Dutchess Community College, Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corporation, Pathways in Technology Early College High School
Students take extra college-level math and science classes alongside their usual classes, so they graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree in STEM. The curriculum was developed by Dutchess Community College which gives pupils access to the campus library, tutoring and other academic resources. They are mentored by employees of the local Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, which also provides internships and job placements
Poughkeepsie, New York
Students, low-income people
Cost & Value
Running since 2015
This kind of "concurrent" or "dual enrolment", where pupils earn college credits while still at high school, is becoming increasingly popular in the US
Poughkeepsie will fast track high school students – 86% of whom live below the poverty line – into well-paid technical careers by giving poor pupils the educational grounding and professional know-how to join the middle class.
Cities in upstate New York are facing an “epidemic” of child poverty, according to a 2013 New York Assembly Report. Poughkeepsie high school students’ low test scores and graduation rates have led to millions of dollars of state cuts in penalties, and the Poughkeepsie City School District is fighting back against potential school closures.
The program, called E-TECH for Engineering, Technology, Early College High School, is free for students at Poughkeepsie High School and funded by a New York State grant.
Students are enrolled in the E-TECH program for six years – a year longer than the average American high school curriculum. Each class will be made up of 50 students who will be mentored by 19 employees of the Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation and six industry partners. All students will take college-level math and science classes in order to graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree in STEM.
If the pupils go on to college, the E-TECH courses are counted as credits. This kind of “concurrent” or “dual enrolment”, where pupils earn college credits while still at high school, is becoming increasingly popular in the US. Advocates say that it it hugely beneficial and slashes drop-out rates.
The curriculum was developed by Dutchess Community College, part of the State University of New York, which will give pupils access to the campus library, tutoring and other academic resources.
Central Hudson will provide students with mentoring, networking, internships and job placements. The mentors provide real-world feedback on the pupils’ coursework, and help them with things like career planning, time management, problem solving, communication and collaboration.
They outline the technical skills needed for jobs in technology and engineering and map out employment needs in the upstate New York area by taking them on site visits and to careers fairs. Finally, they alert school leavers to specific jobs they could apply for, and write them letters of recommendation.
(Picture credit: Flickr/Melissa O’Donohue)