The tech giant launched its P-TECH high school model in Brooklyn in 2011 as part of its educate the community initiative. The school offers all students the ability to receive a high school diploma and associate’s degree within six years, as well as a shot at an IBM job.
The firm has partnered with more than 600 businesses to start P-TECH schools across the US and around the world, in areas where similar opportunities did not previously exist. There will be 220 P-TECHs by the end of 2019
Fresh graduates from the Brooklyn school show how this model can be used to meet the growing “skills gap” between young adults and STEM jobs.
According to Business Insider, the experiment researchers have concluded that rapid change and the loss of millions of jobs to automation will be a defining feature of the next couple of decades. And even a bachelor’s degree is not a guarantee for success if the skills learned don’t fit the needs of the job market. That’s why P-TECH is so promising.
Such an ambitious plan was not without setbacks, as reported by NPR in a report. Business Insider reported that, in 2014, 21% of the grades students got in the college classes were Ds or Fs, while CUNY requires, as the report showed, a “C average across college courses for students to remain in good academic standing to be eligible for Pell Grants and to transfer to four-year programs. Within a technical major, students must earn at least a C in every course.”