Last month, seven students at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School became the first cohort to earn both their high school diplomas and no-cost associate's degrees through a program co-sponsored by Johns Hopkins. Three additional students will graduate later this summer.
Pathways in Technology Early College High School, or P-TECH, is a four- to six-year program allowing students to earn associate's degrees in tandem with their regular high school coursework and receive first-in-line status for job placement. At Dunbar, P-TECH focuses on health sciences and has partnerships with Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland, and Kaiser Permanente. Students work with leading professionals, are paired with an industry mentor, participate in paid summer internships, acquire industry certifications, and earn tuition-free associate's degrees in nursing, respiratory therapy, or physical therapy. Piloted in a New York City school in 2011, P-TECH schools are designed to create clear pathways to both higher education and employment. P-TECH schools and community colleges also work with corporate partners to craft a curriculum aimed at a specific set of job skills.
Seven students graduated from the program May 14: Brijae Cook, Dracy Davis, Kaleb Davis, Calai T. Pearson, Rhaiyana Revell, and Simone Wade earned associate's degrees in general science, while lijah Stovall earned an associate's degree in respiratory therapy.
Malachi Bunch, Fini Harris, and Jason Morales-Ramirez are on track to earn their associate's degrees in general science later this summer upon the completion of their studies.