JOHNSTOWN – PTECH student, Taylor Nellis, took U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik on a tour of his school Monday.
Nellis, from Gloversville, led Stefanik through classrooms explaining his daily itinerary at the Jansen Avenue school. The congresswoman, whose district includes Fulton and Hamilton counties, learned about the technology and subjects taught at the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Board of Cooperative Educational Services Pathways in Technology Early College High School.
PTECH was created when HFM BOCES, its component school districts, Fulton-Montgomery Community College and regional business partners were selected in a statewide competition to be one of 16 winners to receive funding to create a PTECH program. Students in local school districts have to apply and be accepted to attend PTECH starting in ninth-grade.
PTECH is centered on project-based learning and includes college-level, credit-bearing coursework in the curriculum and allows students to choose their own “pathways” to high-skill jobs in five career clusters – business management and administration, advanced manufacturing and clean technology, information technology, health sciences and renewable resources.
Through the program, selected students can earn one of 11 different associate degrees at no cost to their families and will be considered for jobs with participating companies when they graduate.
“The end game for this school is not a high school diploma. The end game for this school is an associate degree,” HFM BOCES Superintendent Patrick Michel said.
During the tour, Nellis explained why he likes attending the PTECH school.
“I love that the teachers are really hands on and like to get to know the students. They really help you, no matter what. If you show that you’re trying to put forth the effort they’ll put forth the effort to help you. The teachers basically taught me patience,” Nellis said.
Stefanik previously toured a PTECH school in Plattsburgh.
“I had high expectations when I was preparing to take this tour, but the tour exceeded my expectations. I’m amazed at the innovation, the focus, just the way classrooms are set up, [and the fact that so much of the learning is technology based and the strength and partnership between the businesses within the community,” Stefanik said.