Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, Allegany County Public Schools starting offering incoming ninth grade students the opportunity to participate in an early college program through the Allegany County Pathways in Technology Early College High (P-Tech) Program at essentially no cost. This opportunity is made possible through collaboration between ACPS, Allegany College of Maryland, the Western Maryland Health System, and other businesses and industries in Allegany County.
The P-Tech program is a high school and beyond (9-14) model, which combines high school, college and the world of work. The program’s mission is to provide students with a free education that starts in grade nine, continues through high school completion with a high school diploma, and culminates in the attainment of an Associate Degree in Computer Technology.
Participating students will gain workplace skills and have access to mentoring and other career experiences through a partnership with WMHS. “The Western Maryland Health System is proud to be both a corporate partner as well as a sponsor of the P-Tech grant program,” said Barry Ronan, President and CEO of WMHS. “Last year, during a meeting with Governor Hogan, I had the opportunity to discuss the grant program, and he was excited to hear of Allegany County’s interest.” He went on to say, “It is great to see those very early discussions and all of the work of the Board of Education and Allegany College come to fruition.”
The ultimate goal of the P-Tech program of study is for students to earn an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Computer Technology with a Cybersecurity option within two years of graduating from ACPS. Students who move through the coursework at an accelerated pace will have other options available. These students can potentially earn a second Associate of Applied Science Degree in another option within the Computer Technology program within six years or transfer to Frostburg State University to complete a Baccalaureate Degree in a computer science field.
“The Allegany County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to support the Allegany County P-Tech partnership,” stated the Chamber’s Executive Director, Stu Czapski. “The P-Tech model complements the already successful collaboration among Allegany County Public Schools, Allegany College of Maryland and the Center for Career and Technical Education and is another positive step toward the goal of economic growth in the IT sector for Allegany County. The Chamber continues to collaborate on the planning grant to ensure this educational opportunity is a success.”