Going Back to School
Fall is a time of new school supplies, new beginnings, brand new books with creaseless spines and clean pages. As the air changes and smells crisp, my brain will naturally start calling up old memories of the first day of class and all the variety of emotions that went with it. Though most of us are out of school, here at SAP we can’t seem to escape the excitement, anxiety and anticipation as fall approaches. Our signature initiative, BTECH (Business Technology Early College High School) is ready to open its doors and welcome its first incoming freshman class of 110 students. In the past few months we have been able to finalize our plans for this exciting initiative and look forward to the first day of school on September 8th, 2014. As part of the planning in the last few months, our BTECH principal, Hoa Tu, along with BTECH teachers had the opportunity to attend SAP’s SAPPHIRE NOW event in Orlando, FL. The initiative was featured widely on the SAPPHIRE NOW platform, on the SAP News Channel and SAP TV.
As we continually seek to progress, what you may not be aware of is that SAP has made advancements for the opening of two more schools across North America in the upcoming year – in Vancouver and Boston – both of which also had a chance to attend our SAPPHIRE NOW event and take a deep dive on SAP culture and technology. Through these schools, SAP aims to leverage its business assets to improve the long-term pipeline of trained talent for the technology sector. We are focused on connecting high school students and young adults to technology career pathways.
In Vancouver we are helping develop a STEM program and laddering pathway to post-secondary excellence in technology and business analytics. We have partnered with the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) whose 145,000 alumni represent industries including applied and natural sciences, trades, business, health sciences, engineering and computing. As a University Alliances member school, BCIT has been part of the SAP ecosystem for the past 10 years, driving educational initiatives aligned to our UA priorities. Our secondary school partner is Templeton Secondary School, where we will help launch a STEM Academy this fall with 30 high school juniors, providing them mentoring and on the job experiences at SAP.
We have also made strides in Boston as we look to launch the next school in September of 2015, partnering with Jobs for the Future to set up a STEM IT early college program. Building on 30 years of experience, JFF is working to fix all “leaks” along the education-to-career pipeline, aiming to ensure employers have the skilled workers needed to succeed in today’s economy. Our early college partners are Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC), the largest community college in Massachusetts, and Charlestown High School. BHCC is a leader in the application of distance-learning technologies and computer-based methodologies that enhance and strengthen the learning environment. Charlestown High School is dedicated to graduating highly skilled, motivated, civic-minded, independent learners. In the last year, over 80% of their students passed the MCAS (Massachusetts standardized test) on the first try and 83% of their students got accepted to college, with over half attending four-year colleges.
September will definitely bring the ‘back to school’ jitters here at SAP. Our journey of addressing the increasing shortage of young adults entering into the technology workforce will be in full sail and we look forward to seeing where it will lead us.