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Colorado P-TECH: Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools in Colorado
What is P-TECH?
In 2015, Governor Hickenlooper signed the Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH) bill into law (HB15-1270 ). P-TECH is intended to create a public-private partnership to prepare thousands of Colorado students for high-skill jobs of the future.
- P-TECH is an innovative partnership between a school district, a community college(s), and one or more local high growth industry employer(s).
- Students begin in 9th grade and go through 14th grade (i.e. high school and two equivalent years of college) for a total of 6 years.
- As such, students graduate with both a high school diploma and an industry-recognized associate degree, in addition to gaining relevant workplace skills.
- The associate degree is in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) focused high-growth industry.
- Students receive intensive student support services, in addition to mentoring, job shadowing, internships, pre-apprenticeships, and other workplace educational experiences.
- P-TECH is open to all students, with a special focus on encouraging enrollment of students who are socio-economically and racially diverse, the first to attend college in their family, English language learners, and students with disabilities.
Why P-TECHs are so Important
- By 2018, there will be 14 million new jobs requiring “middle skills”, suited for those with associate degrees. The highest paid of those jobs will be in STEM fields. By 2020, approximately 74% of jobs in Colorado will require some form of postsecondary credential. Yet many young adults not only lack the skills to succeed in these jobs, they fail to finish college altogether.
- In Colorado, there is a striking disparity in degree attainment between white and under-represented minority students. To illustrate, the following are percentages within groups of Colorado residents aged 25-64 who have earned an associate degree or higher: 55% of White adults; 34% of Black adults; 27% of Native American adults; and 20% of Hispanic adults. That is a 35% degree attainment gap between White and Hispanic adults.
School districts, BOCES, institutions of higher education and dedicated high-growth industry employer partners who want to develop and operate a six-year stand-alone public high school or program within an existing high school focused on career and technical education programming can submit a P-TECH application packet to the Colorado Department of Education.
Approved P-TECH Schools
- Cañon City High School (Cañon City RE-1) – approved 2018
- EC@N-STEM (Adams 12) - approved 2016
- Pathways in Technology Early College High School (St. Vrain Valley) – approved 2015
- Power Technical Early College – James Irwin Charter School (El Paso 49) – approved 2015
- STEM School Highlands Ranch (Douglas County) – approved 2018
- Warrior Tech (St. Vrain Valley) - approved 2019
- Warrior Way High (Mesa 51) - approved 2019
Pathways in Technology Early College High School - PTECH
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Must be a public school or a program in a high school that includes up to 6 years of high school, designed to prepare students for high-potential careers in industry by enabling them to graduate with a high school diploma and an industry-recognized associate degree. Students may also earn pre-apprenticeship certificates and other industry-recognized certificates in addition to an associate degree.
P-TECH is for students beginning in the ninth grade and can continue for up to six years (i.e. high school and two equivalent years of college).
All students w/special focus on socio-economically/racially diverse; 1st generation; English language learners; students with disabilities.
Separate School of Program Within Existing School
Can be a stand-alone school with its own school code, or a program within an existing high school using existing school’s code.
- High school diploma + high-grown industry recognized associate degree.
- Industry recognized pre-apprenticeship and other certificates can be earned in addition to associate degree.
- Must have a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) focus that is informed by current and projected industry standards.
- Must receive workplace experiences and training (mentoring, job shadowing, internships, pre-apprenticeship training).
School district, charter school, BOCES (that operate a high school) + Colorado community college* + one or more local high-growth industry employers (preference given to employers that are certified center of learning).
* "Community college" means a community college governed by the state board for community colleges and occupational education or a state-supported institution of higher education or local district college that is authorized to grant associate degrees [per 22-35.3-102(4)]
- At a minimum, provide course work, counseling, and student support services, as well as provisions relating to instructor qualifications with community colleges.
- Communicate and share decision-making with community college and employer regarding school operations.
- At a minimum, provide course work, counseling, and student support services, as well as provisions relating to instructor qualifications with districts/charters/BOCES.
- Communicate and share decision-making with local education provider employer regarding school operations.
- Provide workplace experiences and training (mentoring, job shadowing, internships, pre-apprenticeship training).
- Consult with the local education provider and community college on course design.
- Work with community college to ensure that course and post-secondary program competencies meet wider industry expectations as well as the needs of the partner employer(s)
Communicate and share decision-making with local education provider and community college regarding school operations.
- Years 1-4 = district/charter school PPR
- Years 5-6 = State-based PPR
- Students are eligible to allocate the College Opportunity Fund (COF) stipend per college credit hour taken.
- Students enrolled in their 5th or 6th year of high school at a PTECH school or program are eligible for full-time funding if they are scheduled for a minimum of one class in the semester of the pupil enrollment count date.
Please refer to the PTECH section of the:Student October Count Audit Resource Guide
Graduation Rate Reporting
Submit to Colorado Department of Education (CDE) no later than December 1st to begin operation the following fall.
Review and Determination
Education and Training Committee (CWDC) reviews application and provides recommendation to Commissioner of Education & Executive Director of the Department of Higher Education for joint approval.
Possible joint decisions: 1) approved; 2) minor changes needed; 3) denied (may reapply).
Click here to go to P-TECH Application, Eligibility and Reporting page.