P-Tech ready to expand

GLOVERSVILLE — Fulton-Montgomery Community College is willing to work with high schools that want to offer Pathways in Technology Early College High School programs in their buildings.

Earlier this year, Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Board of Cooperative Educational Services District Superintendent Patrick Michel announced to superintendents in the districts in the HFM system that there would be an opportunity to open their own PTECH’s on their campuses.

When PTECH was first pitched roughly six years ago, the idea was that if they did well, schools would have the opportunity to open their own inside their buildings.

PTECH students take high school and college courses at the same time in a chosen field. These students get both a high school diploma and associates degree at the time of their graduation. Students are expected to take four to six years to complete the program, starting in their freshman year of high school.

Currently, the Greater Johnstown School District and Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville host PTECH’s in their district. GJSD hosts a technology focused PTECH at the former Jansen Avenue location, while OESJ has an agriculture-based one. Students would still be able to attend those PTECH’s if they were interested in those programs.

Michel said the Greater Amsterdam School District, Greater Johnstown School District, Gloversville Enlarged School District, Northville Central School District, Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Central School District and Lake Pleasant Central School District have all stated they are interested in starting their own P-TECH’s.

Johnstown is looking at a gaming development program, Gloversville at a bio-medical program and Amsterdam at creating a program similar to the Jansen Avenue model with computer, healthcare and advanced manufacturing among others.

Amsterdam, Gloversville and Johnstown are looking at grant funding for their programs.

Swanger said FMCC has been in contact with GASD, GJSD and GESD about their ideas, and has heard others are interested.

“I haven’t heard directly from them that they are moving forward,” Swanger said.

Swanger said the planning will need to take place before September to get the curriculum and logistics in place. He said what those involved with the initial PTECH’s have learned is that they have to be set up a certain way.

He said PTECH’s have to be fully separate from other classes.

Swanger said FMCC should be able to meet the needs of Amsterdam, Johnstown and Gloversville’s program. He said that the gaming curriculum follows the college’s information systems curriculum except for one to two courses that could be developed by the time the students arrive on campus.

“I think we are in a good place to meet that need,” Swanger said.

Swanger said he believes more districts will get involved in the future. He said some of those who expressed interest may take more than a year to do it.

“I think others are seeing the success of the current PTECH and will want to say we can bring that in house as well,” Swanger said.

Kerry Minor can be reached at [email protected]


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