Article-M-P Tech School Student-Radcliffe Saddler Jr_Fotor

Radcliffe Saddler Jr. is a graduate of the P-Tech school in Brooklyn, New York. He spoke about the benefits of a P-Tech education. (Photo by Carlton James Jr.)

Governor Larry Hogan announced the start of the Pathways in Technology College High School, better known by its acronym P-Tech. Hogan made the announcement on June 14 at Carver Vocational High School, one of the participating schools, in Baltimore.

P-Tech offers students a chance to earn their high school diploma, while at the same time earning an Associate’s Degree, over a six year time period. The idea is to give students the opportunity to earn college credits in high school as well as the necessary work tools they need to thrive in today’s society.

“I think it’s great this is an opportunity for young people to not only go to school, get an education, get a skill, and get a college degree in four to six years. Some… will finish both degrees in four years depending on their skill level. At the same time they get to go to work for major companies like IBM, I think that this a great partnership. This is the kind of partnership that we need, with the business community, the philanthropic community and all of our non-profit organizations that are assets in our community. This goes well for Baltimore’s future and I’m excited about it,” said Catherine Pugh, state senator and the presumed next mayor of Baltimore, while at the event.

Carver Vocational Technical and Paul Lawrence Dunbar High Schools are the first schools to be named in the P-Tech program here in Maryland.

Hogan said, “Once established these schools will be available to all students with no test, or grades required for admission, they will integrate over a six year period in the critical areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and each student will be paired with a mentor and will be given a chance to participate in skills based paid internship.”

Shionta Somerville, principal of Carver, said, “I’m excited about the opportunity for Carver students, it’s going to be a good opportunity, it’s going to add to the other CTE (Career Technology & Education) programs we have here for early college…. For my students, I know a lot of times what the main barrier is for them and that is money. I think that’s going to help alleviate the money part for my students.”

P-Tech schoosl began in 2011 and there are now 40 P-Tech Schools in the United States

Radcliffe Saddler Jr., a graduate of the P-Tech school in Brooklyn, New York, who also graduated two full years ahead of the estimated P-Tech educational plan said, “Throughout my experience at P-Tech I always try to maximize my opportunity, because my mom, she told me education open doors.

We’re originally come from Jamaica and I grew up in a low income household, and I’m the eldest of three. So I just want to make sure that my brothers see that education is important, throughout P-Tech I just try to maximize each opportunity….. During my internship my manager loved me and in 12th grade I had to make the choice between should I go to college or should I go to IBM? And at the time, I felt like the move to IBM was a better move, because what 18-year-old could say, ‘Coming out of high school, I got to work at IBM.’ So, I felt like IBM was the better move.”

P-Tech is scheduled to roll out at Carver and Dunbar when the school year begins in September.