Cuomo: School-business partnership to offer free 2-year degrees

ALBANY (TIP): Sixteen schools across the state will be part of a partnership with colleges and private businesses, giving students the opportunity to obtain an associate degree at no cost, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office announced Wednesday, August 28. The Pathways in Technologies Early College High School Program, known as P-TECH, extends schooling for students through grade 14, with graduates receiving a high-school diploma, a two-year college degree and a promise of being “first in line” for a job with a partnering private company. About $4 million was included in the state budget earlier this year to expand the program, which started in New York City in 2011, across the state. The schools will be open to about 6,000 students and will be located throughout the state, while each individual program will come up with an enrollment procedure for students, according to Cuomo’s office.

“This groundbreaking program will give students across the state the opportunity to earn a college degree without taking on significant debt from student loans while also starting on a pathway to a good-paying job when they graduate,” Cuomo said in a statement. The P-TECH program first launched in Brooklyn in 2011 as a partnership between Computer giant IBM, New York City public schools and the City University of New York system. Now, the program will expand to 16 sites across the state with businesses such as Wegmans Food Markets partnering with Rochester schools, Lockheed Martin pairing with Binghamton and architectural firm Fuller and D’Angelo P.C. working with Yonkers schools. Rockland BOCES applied to work with all eight Rockland districts, about 10 Westchester districts, five businesses and both Westchester and Rockland community colleges to devise new ways for teaching math, science and technology. All parties involved plan to spend the next year creating a program geared toward students who might otherwise not succeed in these areas, said Charlene Jordan, assistant superintendent for Rockland BOCES

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