CUMBERLAND — The Allegany County Public School System hosted the third annual celebration dinner for the next P-TECH cohort at the Culinaire Cafe.
P-TECH, which stands for Pathways in Technology Early College High School, combines high school, college and the world of work.
The program provides students with a free education that starts in grade nine and culminates in the attainment of an associate of applied science degree in computer technology with a cybersecurity option within two years of graduating from ACPS.
“The P-TECH program is made possible through a strong partnership between Allegany County Public Schools, Allegany College of Maryland, the Western Maryland Health System and other businesses and industries in Allegany County,” said Kim Kalbaugh, ACPS chief academic officer.
Students and their families met members of the P-TECH Steering Committee, ACM instructors, mentors and other community stakeholders who have been invested in the program.
Cynthia Bambara, president of ACM, spoke about the collaborative partnership that makes the program a success. Bambara recalled her time at a recent P-TECH conference in New York where she was able to interact with individuals on an international level that are committed to P-TECH opportunities for students.
Jonathan Hutcherson, P-TECH business partner, spoke of the growing employment needs in the cybersecurity field. Lynn Ketterman, parent of a P-TECH student in the first cohort, said, “My son enjoys the program, and because of the expectations, he is motivated to take his grades seriously and is now an A-B student.”
Melissa Kaye, P-TECH coordinator, informed the group that participating students will gain workplace skills and have access to mentoring and internship experiences.
There are 57 students in the P-TECH program in ACPS in grades nine to 11. Two students in the first cohort are completing the accelerated pathway to earn their high school diploma and two-year degree in four years.