William Grant of Westmoreland will be the first student from the New Hartford-based BOCES P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) program to graduate from Mohawk Valley Community College in May, before receiving his Regents diploma in June.
Several other students from the four-year-old P-TECH program through Oneida-Herkimer-Madison (OHM) BOCES are also well on their way to completing it, according to a BOCES announcement.
P-TECH OHM will celebrate Grant and other members of the inaugural P-TECH OHM class at a completion ceremony Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Howard D. Mettelman Learning Center at the OHM BOCES campus in New Hartford.
Overall, 14 students from the program’s first cohort, now seniors in high school, will complete their high school requirements this spring, gaining free college and internship experience along the way, said BOCES.
Each student in the program has had an individualized four-, five- or six-year educational pathway to receiving their associate degree.
The program was established in 2015 with a mission of providing selected students from OHM BOCES’ component school districts with opportunities to simultaneously earn their state Regents high school diploma and an associate of applied science degree from MVCC, at no cost to the student.
As one of 38 P-TECH programs in the state, P-TECH OHM offers students a hands-on high school and college curriculum focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics while also teaching workplace skills including leadership, communication and problem-solving. Students participate in workplace projects, professional mentoring, job shadowing and internships with more than 30 local business and industry partners, said BOCES.
Grant, who will get a degree in electrical engineering technology from MVCC, said he joined P-TECH to “get ahead in my education, and get a head start on being a part of the workforce....It’s opened up this huge network of businesses leaders and college educators that I can connect to in the future.”
P-TECH Administrator Erica Schoff added “what’s most impressive, and almost unheard of for a high school student, is that Will is earning his associate degree before he’s even graduated from high school....He accelerated in both his high school and college career over the course of just four short years. P-TECH students are full-time at the college by the time they are seniors in high school, but through acceleration and hard-work, Will became a full-time college student in eleventh grade.”
Besides Grant, another high school senior in the program will complete an associate degree by December, while others will take one additional year after graduating high school and the remaining students will graduate from MVCC in May 2021, said BOCES. It added that 85 students in grades 9-12 are enrolled in the program, including 12 underclassmen who will also have the opportunity to finish in four years.
Grant plans to attend SUNY Polytechnic Institute next year where he will major in electrical engineering with a long-term goal to earn a doctoral degree, said BOCES. Schoff said “being the first cohort in the P-TECH OHM program, Will and his classmates paved the way for the students who have joined the program since.”
Besides Westmoreland, districts served by OHM BOCES include Brookfield, Clinton, Holland Patent, New York Mills, New Hartford, Oriskany, Remsen, Sauquoit Valley, Utica, Waterville, and Whitesboro.