The Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central (ITC) is a public school in theheart of Syracuse, NY. ITC is located on twocampuses for high school and college andcollaborates with Onondaga CommunityCollege since its inception in September2014. ITC P-TECH offers two main collegepathways – electrical technology andmechanical technology. Students learn the foundational components of engineeringin these programs – from electronics andindustrial control to computer drafting andmanufacturing. For the student workplacelearning experience, ITC also works with theManufacturers Association of Central NewYork (MACNY) and other local industriesto provide mentoring, job shadowing, internships, and hiring post-graduation.
The goal of the case study is to provide anexample of the P-TECH model outside of the IBMindustry partner context. Over several months,IBM worked in partnership with ITC to take adeep dive into understanding the implementationof the P-TECH model. ITC provided nonidentifiablestudent-level data with key academicmetrics by academic year. Additionally, IBMinterviewed eight individuals representing differentparts of the P-TECH model – from students oralumni to industry partner representatives.
ITC P-TECH has excelled in being agile tothe needs of their community and studentsin the program. In their first years ofimplementing the P-TECH model, they havemade changes and continue to do so as theyhave ongoing partnership conversations andfeedback from their stakeholders. ITC takespride in experimenting and making the bestof what they have to ensure students canhave a valuable experience that they cantake with them for years to come.
In a program built from the ground up, thefirst cohort has an incredible retention rateof 81% in four years and 79% for six years.However, only seven students (14%) inthe cohortgraduated with both their highschool diploma and AAS degree. With theseachievements, there is also an impressivenumber of students who graduated withcollege credits. About half of the high schoolgraduates earned between 9 – 12 credits(almost one full-time semester’s worth). Theother half of students earned up to a year ormore in college credits, giving them a greatadvantagefor continuing higher education.Students who earn college credits beforeenrolling in higher education, or earn at least15 credits intheir first year, are more likelyto earn their degree – this is a key indicatorof academic momentum 1.After completing the program, almosta quarter of graduates went to workdirectly after high school at companiesincluding Dupli Graphics, Nucore Steel,TTMTechnologies, and United Radio. Mostgraduates chose to continue their highereducation.
From interviews with educators, students,alumni, and industry partner professionals,lessons were learned on implementing theP-TECH model best. Individuals reflectedon how important it was to have consistentcommunication between partners toprovide the best structure and resourcesfor students’success. Others spoke aboutthe various ways small local businessescan adapt the model and have a lastingimpact on students’ workplace learningdevelopment. Additionally, others mentionedhow P-TECH has an impact on more thanjust the student, but also the industryprofessionals that work with the students.
1. On academic momentum. Source: Adelman, C. (2006).The Toolbox Revisited: Paths to Degree Completion FromHigh School Through College. Washington, DC: U.S.Department of Education. Retrieved from www2.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/toolboxrevisit/toolbox.pdf