SCSD Celebrates First Graduating P-TECH Class

     Published on 5/10/19   Tagged under:    District News    ITC   

P-TECH graduate William DeJesus works at a machine at his job.The Syracuse City School District is pleased to celebrate its first graduating class of Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) students!
P-TECH offers students the opportunity to enter into a six-year program (in partnership with local community colleges) and graduate with a free Associate’s Degree.
For William DeJesus, the program led him to a part-time position at United Radio this year, which will turn into a full time job once he graduates from Onondaga Community College in May.
“I would like to grow with the company,” William explained. “They are supportive of students and learning.”

Once he has completed some additional coursework at OCC, William has plans to enroll at Syracuse University to complete his four-year degree in Mechanical Engineering.
“The P-TECH program was great,” William added. “It has given me plenty of opportunities for networking and building my communication skills. I was able to build my resume with plenty of job shadows and internships, along with volunteer activities. And, through my internship at DARCO Manufacturing, I learned a lot of trade skills and what it is like to work in a manufacturing environment... it’s a lot of work, but it was great!”
Quintin Shanes will be graduating with an Associate’s degree in Electrical Engineering. He also plans to continue his studies to earn a Bachelor’s in engineering and hopes to one day work at Inficon, a software company. He said the P-TECH program has put him a step ahead, allowing him to acquire more than half of the college credits he needed for his Associate’s degree – before completing high school!
“This program let me move at my own pace,” Quintin explained. “I brag about P-TECH to my brother all the time. He graduated from RIT last year with an engineering degree, and he says that he wishes it was available to him when he was in high school! All of our professors and teachers have actually come from the industry – so having connections with them helps with my career and job opportunities.”
Bob Leslie, SCSD Career and Technical Education (CTE) Director, said that these career readiness skills are what sets the P-TECH program apart from traditional education programs.
“It is remarkable to see our first cohort of P-TECH students grow from freshmen to gradating with their Associate’s degrees,” Mr. Leslie said. “We’ve talked with some of the companies who have been with us for the past five years, and they are now hiring our students as employees. This is how education should be done: schools and businesses working together toward a common goal of setting students up for their first real job, without any college debt.”
Dr. Joshua Martin, Early College High School Coordinator at Onondaga Community College, agreed, noting that this first group of P-TECH graduates have achieved an impressive milestone.
“The P-TECH program continues to equip students from low-income and disadvantaged backgrounds with the essential skills needed to succeed,” Dr. Martin said. “These four students are true trailblazers. They have demonstrated strength, dedication and tireless effort in pursuit of their goals. We are excited about their success and proud to call each of them a success story!”
Congratulations to this first cohort of SCSD P-TECH graduates – we wish you continued success!

To learn more about the P-TECH programs available in the Syracuse City School District, click here to visit our Career and Technical Education (CTE) webpage.