Paralleling Courses at Hudson Valley P-TECH


Last week I attended a presentation at Hudson Valley P-TECH (The New York State Pathways in Technology Early College High School program) in Piermont.

Photo of students and teachers courtesy New York State Thruway Authority.

P-TECH — a partnership of Rockland BOCES, Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES, Southern Westchester BOCES, State University of New York Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome (SUNYIT), SUNY Rockland Community College and Westchester Community College — is project-based for problem-solving and prepares students for skilled jobs the business community needs.

The school opened in September 2014 at Orangetown Middle School. For the past two years it’s been at Rockland BOCES in Piermont. Each year freshmen have a career orientation, she said, learning about the three pathways offered through business partners and organizations P-TECH works with during the year.

* * * * *

They were enrolled in engineering, information technology and green building (sustainable design) programs and came into the room curious. On the center of each tale was a sample of the bridge project: a piece of galvanized steel rebar (piers, towers), a section of metal strand (stay cables), a square of clear plastic (border wall of walking path), a cross-section of cable sheathing.


“We have a group of engineering students who are Engineering 105 right now,” P-TECH Principal Natasha Shea. “It’s part of their curriculum with RCC, and they have to design and build a bridge, so this fits into what they’re learning.”

Questions ranged from traffic patterns when the current bridge is dismantled to how the new bridge will carry the same 140,000-per-day vehicle load to when the spans would open to project costs and projected tolls.

“This presentation has the components of all three pathways: how they’re working on the beam and platforms, being sensitive to the environment, engineering and the computer information (cyber security) component,” Shea said.

Students are dually enrolled in both the high school and college, and maintain ties to their school district, earning a Regents diploma, an associate’s degree and work experience. Having the same classmates for six years gives some a sense of security and eliminates the “who will be in my class” feeling some students feel each September.

They will attend RCC during their last two years in the program. “They’re starting to take classes there, like a summer class, to transition out of high school,” Shea said.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2016

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