New York has teamed up with IBM to make up the severe shortfall of science and technology graduates. Schoolchildren are offered college STEM courses alongside their normal lessons and partners like IBM prepare them for the realities of the working world with mentoring, internships and site visits. The program has been successful enough to be replicated in five other states and 14 schools in Australia.
Results & Impact
The program has served several hundred pupils and done well enough to be copied by five other states. The US's shortage of people qualified for well-paying technical jobs means that for every two open STEM job listings, there is only one qualified unemployed individual
NYC Department of Education, City University of New York, New York City College of Technology, IBM, Siemens
The project matches local school districts and community colleges with companies committed to taking on qualified graduates, and the pupils take STEM courses alongside their normal studies. The companies advise on which extra courses would make graduates most employable and introduce the students to the working world. They provide real-world feedback on coursework, mentoring, work experience, site visits and, for successful graduates, job opportunities. Within six years, students graduate with a high school diploma and a no-cost associate degree from an accredited community college
New York, Chicago, Baltimore
Cost & Value
Running since 2011
Replicated in 60 schools in six US states, the program is now also being piloted in 14 schools in Australia. The model is also being applied to other sectors, such as advertising and healthcare.
A dearth of qualified candidates for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) jobs has led to the successful creation of a program for high school students in New York and Chicago that unites city education departments with technology giants like IBM and Siemens.
In 2010, while the unemployment rate in the US was 9.6%, companies like IBM and Siemens noticed there were seven job openings for every computing science graduate. With almost 15 million people unemployed across the country, there was a deep skills mismatch with large numbers of adults unqualified to fill STEM positions.
The challenge was taken up by IBM who worked with the New York Department of Education and the City University of New York to create the Pathway in Technology Early College High School (P-Tech). P-Tech works as a separate academic track based at an existing public high school. It matches local school districts and community colleges with companies committed to taking on qualified graduates.
The companies advise on which extra courses would make graduates most employable and introduce the students to the working world. They provide real-world feedback on coursework, mentoring, work experience, site visits and, for successful graduates, job opportunities.
Within six years, students graduate with a high school diploma and a no-cost associate degree from an accredited community college. This provides a foundation in STEM subjects for further education or the job market. P-Tech received a significant boost when then New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg took an interest and announced the initiative in September of 2010.
P-Tech debuted in 2011 and is now in its sixth year and has spread to 60 schools across six states. In 2015, 38 graduates completed the six-year program one or two years early. The same year, ten students received honors certificates. In 2016, six out of 11 early graduates began jobs at IBM and five students went on to pursue bachelor’s degrees at higher education institutions.
In 2013, two additional P-Tech model schools were opened in New York, and three more were added in 2015, in collaboration with corporate partners in fields as diverse as advertising, healthcare, and technology. In 2014, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he would fund another ten P-Tech schools.
Elsewhere, P-Tech has also been successfully replicated elsewhere in five other states, including Maryland and Colorado. In Chicago, five schools opened in 2012 in collaboration with companies including Cisco, Microsoft, Verizon, and Motorola. The following year, former President Barack Obama praised the schools in his State of the Union address and, after visiting a P-Tech school with IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, announced a $100 million grant program to encourage high school courses to be redesigned along the lines of P-Tech.
(Picture: Flickr/Obama White House)