UPDATE: Idaho PTECH Network

The Idaho PTECH Network

Today, Idaho is poised to re-imagine the delivery of high school and post secondary education to students through the Idaho PTECH Network.


What is PTECH?

PTECH stands for Pathways in Technology Early College High School.  The PTECH model began in Brooklyn and Chicago.  Bricks and mortar schools deliver high quality certificates and associates degrees to 9-14th graders in partnership with IBM.  Graduates are armed with a high school diploma, a meaningful certificate or 2-year degree and a pathway to employment with IBM.


The Idaho PTECH Network 

Idaho’s model for PTECH has evolved from bricks and mortar schools serving a few hundred students to a network that will serve ALL Idaho students. Instead of students coming to PTECH, PTECH will come to them.

By rethinking delivery, school schedules and funding mechanisms, schools from Bonners Ferry to Blackfoot can access the Idaho PTECH Network and provide students the ability to gain — at little or no cost — meaningful credentials, associate of arts degrees and pathways to Idaho jobs in healthcare, high tech manufacturing and information technology.

Removing the barriers between high school and college and making the Idaho PTECH Network a reality for our state and its students will require a tremendous amount of strategic planning over the next six months.  A robust planning process, infused with design thinking, is already underway with key partners in Idaho industry and education.


Idaho PTECH Network Leadership

Alan Millar, former president of the Idaho Charter School Network and principal at Forrest M. Bird Charter School in Sandpoint, Idaho, has accepted the position of executive director of the Idaho PTECH Network.  Alan will carry forward the network’s mission, vision and long-term sustainability efforts.  Deborah Pence and Molly Huckaby, who bring a wealth of experience, will join Alan in this endeavor.


Why PTECH?

Consider the numbers:

    • Nearly 70% of Idaho jobs will require post-secondary education in just 5 years

     

    • Only 33% of Idahoans currently have an Associate’s Degree or higher

     

    • Idaho ranks 41st nationally for students who progress from 9th grade to a college degree

     

    • The costs associated with higher education are skyrocketing
The numbers suggest that too many Idaho kids aren’t making the transition from a high school diploma to a quality credential or degree.  Too many Idaho kids aren’t career ready.  Too many students are drowning in student loan debt.  These factors impact students’ ability to achieve their dreams and, because education and the economy are inextricably linked, Idaho’s ability to maintain the quality of life we all enjoy.

The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation believes that we can’t continue to do the same things to serve students in the same way and expect different outcomes.


Background

The Foundation issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) with the intent of catalyzing the creation of early college high schools that will provide students with the credentials and skills needed to launch meaningful careers.  Inspired by the PTECH schools that have opened in partnership with IBM in New York and Illinois, PTECH in Idaho will be created in collaboration with higher education institutions and industry partners.

The goal of the initiative was to establish innovative new schools that will increase student achievement outcomes in Idaho while also producing graduates who can fill positions for which employers must currently seek out-of-state talent.

The Foundation has committed up to $5 million for this effort.