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High School Students Earning Free Associate Degree in STEM


In 2011, looking to bring more students into the STEM pipeline, IBM worked with educators, policymakers and elected officials to create the Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH) model.

Starting with one school in 2011, there are now 100 schools that participate in this program.

Students can enroll in the six-year program, which begins in high school and earn both a high school and an associate’s degree in a science, tech, engineering or math-related field. The schools map skills that employers value into the curriculum, preparing P-TECH graduates to enter the workforce after graduation.

In order to ensure that students can find jobs in their field, the program is supported by 400 business partners that work directly with 79 schools across the U.S. The business partners ensure that students are career-ready by providing mentoring, site visits and paid internships. 

In addition to filling the many STEM jobs in the market today, P-TECH is also helping these graduates move to “new collar” jobs which can range from associate analyst to digital design developer.

IBM operates its own division of the program, called IBM P-TECH, which this year will graduate more than 150 students in four cities. The student attended Pathways in Technology Early College High School in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy in Chicago; Norwalk Early College Academy (NECA) in Norwalk, Conn.; and Excelsior Academy in Newburgh, N.Y.

Some of the students completed their degrees in four years and are the first in their family to earn a college degree.

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Click here for a look at the IBM -PTECH class of 2018. 



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