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EPISD to launch innovative P-TECH programs in the fall

ptech episd

(EL PASO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT -- Oct. 6, 2020) — Students at four EPISD high schools next fall will have one more tool to help them earn college credits or industry credentials when the District launches the innovative Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools, or P-TECH program. 

The national program, which has helped students everywhere earn an associate’s degree certification diplomas as they complete their graduation requirements, will be rolled out to every high-school in the District over the next two years.

“We are very excited to bring a Pathways in Technology Early College to each comprehensive high school in the District over the next two years beginning with Coronado, El Paso, Franklin and Jefferson high schools,” said Jason Long, executive director of Secondary Schools/College Readiness.

EPISD has partnered with El Paso Community College to make this option for students to get a head start on their postsecondary studies or a career through an associate degree or a Level 1 certification in their selected field of study.

“The program also includes a partnership with GECU and University Medical Center for students to gain valuable work-place experiences through site tours, career presentations, practical work-place skills, job shadowing, mentoring and internships,” Long said.

The first cohorts for the fall of 2021 are:

  • Coronado Business P-TECH
  • El Paso High Computer Science P-TECH
  • Franklin High Medical Sciences P-TECH
  • Jefferson High Medical Science P-TECH 

In 2022, EPISD will add Andress, Austin, Bowie, Chapin and Irvin high schools to its P-TECH offerings. These campuses will join EPISD’s two other high schools – Transmountain Early College and Burges – to offer early college opportunities. 

“The campuses selected for the cohort beginning in 2021 were chosen because of the programs that already existed on there and it allowed EPISD to capitalize on existing infrastructure before expanding,” Long said. “The courses of study were offered based on current regional job market conditions and future regional job market projections.”

EPISD will strategically build out the PTECH programs so that each geographic region of the district offers a business or BTECH, computer science or CTECH, medical or MTECH and teaching or TTECH program not far from their neighborhood high school. 

“The EPISD vision is to bring true choice equity to all areas of the District,” Long said. “Students who might not have been willing or able to travel across the District daily for a program will now have an attractive choice close to home.”

Eighth graders interested in any of the four new P-TECH programs available in 2021 can begin applying online here. Deadline is Nov. 20 with acceptance letters being sent out in December. 

There are no specific requirements other than interest and commitment to completing the program.  The maximum number of students for each cohort per school is 125.  Each campus’ maximum enrollment in PTECH is 500 students. 

EPISD’s open enrollment policy allows incoming freshman students to select a P-TECH program of their interest that allows them to combine high school, postsecondary courses and work-based learning.

Story by Reneé de Santos