DUARTE, Calif. —
Specialized high school educational programs that fast-track students to jobs by providing college-level training and career readiness are heralded as the next revolution in education. President Barack Obama has touted these academies, patterned on IBM’s P-Tech schools (Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools), as a model for the nation’s job training and education needs. Now California is about to join the forefront of this visionary education trend, thanks to a unique partnership between City of Hope, Duarte Unified School District and Citrus College.
Duarte High School will launch its new academy —named The T.E.A.C.H. Project— this fall. T.E.A.C.H stands for Train, Educate, and Accelerate Careers in Healthcare. It is based on IBM’s revolutionary P-TECH program, designed to provide often-disadvantaged students with a better chance at high-paying jobs while providing high-tech industries with a pre-trained, motivated and diverse workforce. President Obama described them as “shaking up” the system of higher education in his 2012 State of the Union speech. Currently, fewer than 20 P-Tech schools exist nationwide.
The T.E.A.C.H. Project is a corporate partnership that connects public school students with high demand jobs by offering them college level courses in high-school, based on the skills needed for a career in health care information technology. High school students earn college credits at no/low cost, accelerating their ability to earn a two-year associate's degree in informational technology. Some may even obtain their high school diplomas and associate’s degrees simultaneously. In addition to providing input on the coursework, City of Hope will provide projects, training, internships and mentoring opportunities. This intensive program provides unprecedented job-training and learning opportunities for students in a largely minority school district and helps to build a committed, diverse workforce for the growing needs of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.
“We believe The T.E.A.C.H. Project will be a game-changer in how we invest in, and develop, the youth of our community and introduce them to possible careers,” said Stephanie Neuvirth, chief human resources and diversity officer at City of Hope. “We need to help children and their parents better understand that the health care industry offers great career options, even as we help develop a skilled health care information technology workforce for our evolving and increasingly inclusive economy.”
“As advances in medicine and technology evolve at an unprecedented pace, this is a critical time to invest in preparing the next generation of health care information technology professionals,” said Robert Stone, chief executive officer and president of City of Hope. “Graduates of this program will be prepared with the knowledge and experience to embark on careers in the health care industry while addressing the industry’s need for more skilled health care information technology professionals.”
The program also aims to benefit students by offering clear applications for their lessons, helping them connect what they are learning today to how it will benefit them in tomorrow’s workplace.
“We are thrilled to be the first school district in California to partner in developing a P-Tech model program,” said Terry Nichols, Ed.D., superintendent of Duarte Unified School District. “Our T.E.A.C.H. students will develop skills and gain experiences that are in demand today, and this program will put our graduates first in line for globally competitive jobs and success in our 21st century society.”
Enrollment in The T.E.A.C.H. Project is open to all interested Duarte Unified School District students in grades 9 to 12. There are no required additional assessments, screenings or lottery to participate in the program. For more information, please contact Kevin Morris at 626-786-1306 or [email protected]