Looking for the fastest track your child can take to get into college and a better paying job? Consider letting them stay in high school for two more years to learn the skills that experts say open doors to a more prosperous career. This is the promise of BTECH, an innovative program launching this fall in New York City. It’s a unique public/private partnership between SAP, the New York City Department of Education, Queensborough Community College and the Early College Initiative at the City University of New York. These are the ten ways that its six-year high school curriculum, focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), is designed to give students a competitive edge.
- ‘Two for one’ deal: Students earn a high school diploma plus an associate degree in business systems or engineering technology.
- College curriculum included: Students are taking college coursework throughout the six-year program–it’s free for students and families.
- STEM is where the jobs are: According to the U.S. bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in STEM occupations is projected to grow nearly twice as fast as the average for all occupations over the next four years. What’s more, a 2012 report from President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology found that about 1 million more STEM professionals will be needed in the next decade. Yet less than 40 percent of students entering college intend to major in these fields.
- Job relevant curriculum: Classroom learning directly aligns with specific entry level job requirements at SAP and across the IT industry.
- Real world experience: Students will have opportunities to work with SAP technologies such as SAP Cloud solutions, SAP HANA and mobile apps through apprenticeships, internships, and job shadowing.
- Mentoring from IT professionals: Every student is paired with an SAP mentor to help them stay on track educationally, and provide career advice.
- Well-rounded education: By learning a combination of core academic topics along with technical, design and communication skills, students are more prepared to make a valuable contribution in our information-based global economy.
- Diversity: BTECH is purposely open to everyone, including those from low-income families, first-generation college students, English language learners, students with disabilities, and students of color.
While there are no sure-fire guarantees in this world, BTECH’s first class of 125 ninth graders this September has a unique opportunity for a better future. In many ways, BTECH represents the future of education going beyond traditional vocational training for a particular job to developing skills for long-time career success. Back to school deals like this are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many.
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