Colorado Business Roundtable recently had the opportunity to learn with Business Roundtable member and global innovation leader IBM at a variety of events supporting STEM education in Colorado. You can catch our interview with Stanley Litow, Vice President of Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs at IBM, on Connect & Collaborate radio/podcast on November 1!
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is the largest technology and consulting employer in the world. It co-developed the “Pathways in Technology Early College High School” (P-TECH) school model in which public school students can earn an associate degree in a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) field in addition to high school diplomas. They also develop workplace skills through mentoring and internships.
In just five years since the first P-TECH school launched, there are now at least 60 P-TECH schools in six states around the country, with three of the newest here in Colorado. In January 2016, the Colorado Department of Higher Education and Colorado Department of Education approved one in St. Vrain Valley School District and another in El Paso County School District 49. Shortly after, a third Colorado P-TECH school was announced for Northglenn High School (Adams 12).
A key element of the P-TECH model is public-private partnership, which is an opportunity for business to shape the workforce it needs. As a co-developer of the model and a longtime employment leader in the area, IBM is in partnership with St. Vrain Valley School District and Front Range Community College. Last week, IBM hosted two special events for students and supporters, the St. Vrain Valley Schools’ P-TECH Program Mentoring Event and the 2016 Innovation Gala.
The mentoring event on October 21, 2016 invited students to "join district and IBM leaders for a morning of engaging presentations and project-based learning activities that are preparing students for 21st century careers in computer information systems." As the photos show, this event was designed for district and IBM mentors to meet the students they are mentoring and together complete a mentor-student project.
Later, it was on to the first-ever Innovation Gala. Key note speakers for the evening were Colorado Lieutenant Governor, Donna Lynne, and the Vice President of Corporate and Citizenship Affairs at IBM, Stanley S. Litow. Litow also spoke at the mentoring event.
Students from the Innovation Center and St. Vrain's P-TECH program also participated in a panel to discuss the value of an education in St. Vrain Valley and answer audience questions about the impact of P-TECH and Innovation in their day-to-day lives. Proceeds from the Innovation Gala will be directed to the Education Foundation of St. Vrain Valley's general fund which is used to impact the students, educators and the community of St. Vrain Valley.
For more information on P-TECH, visit www.ptech.org. IBM developed a free website to help school districts, higher education institutions, and businesses expand the P-TECH model.
Visit the Colorado Department of Higher Education's P-TECH page.
P-TECH is one of Colorado Succeeds' Lead Initiatives.
Articles and Op-Eds:
- "To fix our schools, build on P-TECH: A Brooklyn school should guide a new national reform conversation" on New York Daily News by IBM's Stanley Litow
- "P-TECH: Tackling Youth Unemployment One Student At A Time" on Forbes by IBM's Stanley Litow
- "Bipartisan Education Bill Signed" in ICOSA Magazine by IBM's Ray Johnson
- "Reaching the true potential of Colorado’s workforce" on Denver Post by Colorado House Majority Leader Crisanta Duran