Brooklyn high school graduates first class of students to earn college degree through innovative program

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This article originally appeared in The New York Daily News
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President Obama’s favorite city school is making good on the promise of its innovative six-year program, school officials said Tuesday.

Brooklyn’s Pathways in Technology Early College High School gives students an associate’s degree in computer science alongside a regular high school diploma and first crack at a job with the school’s corporate partner, IBM.

P-TECH’s unusual model caught Obama’s eye soon after it opened in 2011, prompting the President to give the school a shoutout in his 2013 State of the Union address, and he visited the school later that year.

Now, with the completion of its first four years in operation, P-TECH officials say the school is showing some outstanding results.

“You look at the success of this model and it throws away all of your conceptions about what low-income students or students of color can achieve,” said Stanley Litow, president of IBM International Foundation. “I think this is a viable model to replace what’s happening with education across the United States.”

Six kids from P-TECH’s inaugural class have earned their college degrees and high school diplomas two years ahead of schedule.

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That includes Gabriel Rosa, who applied to P-TECH on a whim.

“Being able to handle a lot of work is definitely a skill I’ve gained,” Rosa said. “If I wasn’t in P-TECH, I’m not sure where I’d be.”

A whopping 74% of kids from the 90-student class are deemed college-ready, more than twice the city average. And nearly every member of the inaugural class has taken some college course work already.

Up to 100 P-TECH-style schools may open by 2016 in several countries around the world, school officials say.

The innovative Crown Heights school has inspired dozens of similar six-year, early college schools around the country — including several in the city and more upstate.

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Author: sabrinacaserta

Sabrina Caserta, born and bred in Bronx, New York, is a freelance reporter whose work has appeared in the New York Daily News and Street Sense- a homeless-run street paper located in the District. As a member of Roger Williams University’s class of 2016, Sabrina studied Journalism and Political Science. This fueled her passion for social justice reporting, including issues of homelessness, institutionalized racism, poverty, education and the environment. She also served as the Project Director of the nation-brand initiative, The Re:Imagine Jamaica Project, and as a Resident Assistant for three years. As an avid reader, health enthusiast and travel addict, Sabrina enjoys yoga, cooking and writing in her spare time. She aspires to one day be an investigative journalist and travel the world. Twitter: @sabrinacaserta Email: sabcaserta AT gmail DOT com

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