NORWALK, Conn. (WTNH) – This fall Norwalk will become the first district in the state to offer a public academy where a student earns both a high school diploma and a no-cost associate’s degree – with the shot of a job at IBM.
“This is a new school, spanning grade 9 through 14, where students will participate in high school and college classes and internships with IBM,” Gov. Dannel Malloy said Friday.
Connecticut’s first so-called P-TECH school, Norwalk Early College Academy is the result of a partnership between Norwalk Public Schools, Norwalk Community College and IBM, which is helping fund the effort.
P-TECH stands for Pathways in Technology Early College High School. Curriculum concentrates on what’s called the education STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – all the stuff that companies like IBM look for in young employees.
“Every student gets an IBM mentor,” said IBM Foundation President Stanley Lithow. “Every student has structured workplace visits where they have an opportunity to understand how their workplace skills and their academic skills work for them.”
There are already similar schools in New York and Chicago. The schools are created in partnership with major companies.
And what do some high school students have to say of the new academy?
“Going through high school isn’t enough these days,” said junior Maxwell Lawrence. “Definitely going to college, graduating will definitely help you in the long run.”
Added high school senior Laura Monanri, “I’m very anxious to pressure my friends and little sisters to go into this program when they come to high school.”
Slots this fall will be drawn by lottery. The state is in talks with other big companies to bring more P-TECH schools to Connecticut.
Mark Davis reporting