IBM P-TECH Launches at Lanier

Austin ISD, Austin Community College and IBM bring technology careers within reach for north Austin students

Lanier Early College High School will be home to the latest Pathways to Technology Early College High School as part of a partnership among Austin ISD, Austin Community College and IBM.

The Lanier P-TECH, opening in fall 2019 with 50 freshman students, is funded through a $50,000 grant from the Texas Education Agency. The program will join approximately 120 P-TECH schools nationwide in providing students an opportunity to earn high school diplomas and technology-focused associates degrees at no cost in preparation for successful careers in technology. The program is based on a Science Technology Engineering and Math focused career and technical education model designed by IBM in 2011.

“Austin ISD is proud to expand opportunities for our students in north Austin,” Superintendent Paul Cruz said. “We are fortunate to be near an innovative and historic technology company like IBM and have a consistent partnership with ACC. Our students are stronger when we work together as community to prepare them for college, career and life We believe it's important to prepare our students for career opportunities out of high school as well as college matriculation.”

The program will add a new grade level of students each year and the grant funds will support planning for the innovative school model. Wraparound services will be provided for students, including mentoring, articulation of credits from high school to college, flexibility in scheduling, and work-based education like paid internships that result in an interview for a position with IBM.

“IT is one of Austin’s fastest growing industries. This program provides students an opportunity to learn those important skills and earn their associate degree by the time they graduate high school,” ACC President and CEO Richard Rhodes said. “By working in collaboration, we can provide students a seamless path from high school to college to career. It’s among the greatest equalizers in higher ed today.”

Texas' embrace of the model now means that, by this fall, there will be approximately 120 P-TECH schools across seven U.S. states and abroad, with more than 450 affiliated companies involved.

"IBM enthusiastically congratulates the State of Texas, Austin ISD, and Austin Community College for their bold vision and leadership in bringing the P-TECH education model to the Austin community," said Jennifer Ryan Crozier, president of the IBM International Foundation. "Their embrace of P-TECH is exactly what we had hoped for when IBM originally envisioned and designed the P-TECH model. IBM has very strong ties to the Austin community, and our employees are employees are excited to be engaged. All told, we are confident that the students that attend P-TECH at Lanier High School will become the next generation of 21st century leaders."

At the first P-TECH school, which was launched in Brooklyn, NY in 2011, more than half of the graduates have earned both their high school and associate degrees in information technology in six years or less. Their on-time community college completion rate is trending 400 percent higher than the national average.