The Business Council of New York State supports S.8700-A (Marcellino), which would continue the NYS Smart Scholars early college high school program and the NYS Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program, adding P-TECH to state education statutes and providing for its continued support within the state education department.
Both Smart Scholars and P-TECH are early college high school models which involve a partnership between public school districts and institutions of higher education, providing students access to college coursework and college credits while in high school.
Access to this rigorous coursework not only better prepares students for college and challenging careers, but also increases their likelihood of college graduation since students are able to receive college credits in high school at no cost to them.
Additionally, students in P-TECH programs have direct contact with the program’s private sector business partners through mentoring, worksite visits, and job shadowing; providing students with the invaluable exposure to career exploration and hands-on experience.
Currently there are 38 state-funded P-TECH programs supported by grants through the State Education Department (SED), and another five in New York City funded through the City Department of Education. These programs are supported with grants and appropriations, but do not exist in State education statute. Including these valuable programs in the State education law will help to preserve them and allow for their continued growth and prioritization for future funding.
Not only are these 43 P-TECH programs across the State providing educational opportunities previously unavailable for students, they’re drawing a direct connection to a career, providing a much needed talent pipeline in areas of that state struggling with population decline. Businesses in New York State have demonstrated the need of the P-TECH talent pipeline through their commitment to the program. P-TECHs across the state boast a remarkable 467 committed business partners providing curriculum support in addition to mentoring and career development resources. Of those 467 official P-TECH partners, over a dozen across the state are business associations, chambers of commerce, and member-based economic development organizations who further multiply the number of business partners with the engagement of their membership.
The Business Council supports programs which not only help students attend college, but those that also ensure New York has the qualified talent pipeline needed to further grow our economy. As such, the Business Council supports S.8700-A (Marcellino), which would continue the NYS Smart Scholars and NYS P-TECH programs.