P-TECH schools are public schools, governed and supported by the local school district. Often compared to magnet schools or charter schools, P-TECH schools are a unique model of their own.
School districts that develop a P-TECH school are ready to rethink traditional patterns of student enrollment, staffing, curriculum, and scheduling. Because of this, departments or offices that oversee curriculum and instruction, student enrollment, career and technical education, facilities, and academic policies must be engaged in the creation and ongoing support of a P-TECH school.
Districts also must be willing to work closely with external partners. Input from Community College Partners and Industry Partners shapes a range of school-level decisions, from curriculum to supports, which are traditionally within the sole purview of the district.
School districts that develop a P-TECH 9-14 school are ready to rethink
traditional patterns of student enrollment, staffing, curriculum.
Successful High School Partners:
- Have a dedicated school leader and staff
- Utilize a dedicated space*
- Offer open student recruitment based on student interest
- Have a curriculum that integrates high school courses with college coursework, to enable students to earn a high school diploma and a postsecondary degree
- Collaborate with an industry to integrate workplace experiences, including mentoring and internship opportunities
- Collaborate with Community College Partner to provide students with individual support and guidance during their high school years and as students begin taking college classes
*Whether freestanding or school-within-a-school
P-TECH High School Partners Need to Be Flexible Yet Firm
A rigorous and focused curriculum is the hallmark of any successful school, but it is particularly important to the P-TECH Model. The school has no prerequisites or testing for admission and is committed to graduating all students within six years with an industry-recognized AAS degree.
For this reason, a P-TECH school’s instructional activities must be carefully and purposefully designed. The curriculum must drive toward helping all students develop the skills and knowledge they need to graduate high school, earn an AAS degree, and be eligible for a 21st Century job—regardless of their level upon entering the program.
A schedule that includes both high school courses and college courses can be challenging to build. The goal is to blend the two learning contexts into a seamless Scope & Sequence to allow students to progress and meet the increasing demands of the program.
The program is primarily focused on English, mathematics, Workplace Learning and technical courses. These should be designed to support and reinforce one another and to develop students’ knowledge and skills in the relevant professional field.
Furthermore, it is vital that High School Partners bring their expertise around curriculum, learning standards, programming and pedagogy to the model, while also being open to innovation and new ways of working.