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Partnership between BCCC, City Schools garners early college credit for dozens of high school students

9/22/2017, 6 a.m.
The results are in and they are encouraging: Maryland's first student cohort enrolled in Baltimore's Pathways in Technology Early College ...
Dr. Gordon F. May BCCC President/CEO Courtesy Photo

— The results are in and they are encouraging: Maryland's first student cohort enrolled in Baltimore's Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH) is getting ready for college— and earning their first college credits at no cost through the public education system.

The students, 47 from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and 36 from Carver Vocational-Technical High School, completed a seven-week summer program at Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) from June 26 to August 11, 2017. The students took introductory courses— Principles of Computer Information Systems; English 101; Beginning Math; Health and Life Fitness; and an orientation course— and racked up nine college credits before they returned for the first day of the high school year on September 5, 2017.

"P-TECH has so many benefits for our students," said Rachel Pfeifer, executive director of college and career readiness for Baltimore City Public Schools. "The students who attended the summer program at BCCC are now entering 10th grade, and they already have college credits on their transcripts. Not only that, but they've been exposed to what college work and college life are like, so they are motivated about what's ahead for them."

P-TECH is a six-year program that combines high school and college academics with career preparation. On graduation, students will have earned a high school diploma, associate degree, and first-in-line status for jobs with industry partners. P-TECH partners include City Schools, BCCC, Johns Hopkins University and Health System, University of Maryland-Baltimore, Kaiser Permanente, and IBM.

"The partnership between the corporate partners and the Baltimore City School System has been very effective," said Jeanne D. Hitchcock, Esq., special advisor to the vice president for local government, community and corporate affairs at Johns Hopkins University. "We are particularly pleased with our working relationship with BCCC that has added another educational dimension to the high school experience for the P-TECH students."

"We look forward to making a difference for our P-TECH students," said Dr. Gordon F. May, BCCC president/CEO. "As educators our primary responsibility is to help students master learning, prepare them for quality opportunities in the workforce and instill the desire for lifelong learning and personal autonomy."

According to Carver students in the English 101 summer P-TECH class at BCCC, the work was challenging, but fun. The students said they were grateful for the opportunity to get better in school and to experience college for the first time.