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P-TECH program information for students

| March 13, 2019

Students interested in taking a deep-dive into the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) during their high school years should consider our Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program.

This engaging, four to six year program (grades 9-14) prepares students for future careers in a variety of STEM-related fields through hands-on, project based learning.

Students who successfully complete the program earn a high school diploma and an associates degree at no cost. Graduates are first in line for a job with industry partners in the growing field of information technology.

What kind of student is a good candidate for P-TECH?

A student who will succeed at P-TECH is:

  • Motivated to learn in new and exciting ways.
  • Innovative and creative.
  • Interested in applying science, technology, engineering and math to their everyday learning.
  • Works well in a collaborative team environment.
  • Thrives in a non-traditional classroom setting.

P-TECH is designed for students who want to do something different with their high school career. Students of all academic achievement levels are encouraged to apply. The goal is for the school to have a typical student body that mirrors the collective demographics of the Capital Region. Special effort will be made to recruit and support students who are considered academically and/or economically at-risk; populations that historically lack access or success in higher education; and students from Focus or Priority schools.

How will P-TECH be paid for?

A consortium of Capital Region BOCES, its component school districts, Hudson Valley Community College, SUNY Schenectady County Community College and six regional businesses applied for and received a statewide grant for $3 million in spring 2018 to launch Capital Region P-TECH. Watervliet City School District is the lead fiscal agency in the grant. School districts pay a tuition fee for students they send to P-TECH, for which they can be partially reimbursed through BOCES aid. The grant covers the rest of the costs associated with the school.

Students will be able to choose from one of two sites

Each site offers a distinct pathway that leads to an associate’s degree from a neighboring college.

Watervliet Junior-Senior High School (East Campus)

  • Computer Information Systems Pathway – Earn an Associate in Science degree or Associate in Applied Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Hudson Valley Community College.
  • Cybersecurity Pathway – Earn an Associate in Science degree in Cybersecurity from Hudson Valley Community College.

Center for Advanced Technology at Mohonasen (West Campus)

  • Computer Science Pathway – Earn an Associate in Science degree in Computer Science from Schenectady County Community College.

Each site will offer admission to 30 students per cohort (60 students total) in the 2019-20 school year. Additional cohorts of 30 will be added each year.

Eighth-graders are eligible to apply

Students must apply through the district in which they reside.

Application Requirements

  • Students/Parents must complete an interest survey prior to the application process.
  • Applicants must get two recommendations—one from a teacher and another from a school guidance counselor.
  • Applicants will participate in a personal interview.

Go to for details.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are students selected?

Completed applications received by the deadline will be evaluated by the Application and Recruitment Team. Selected students are required to attend a week-long “Summer Bridge” program for incoming freshmen.

How will selected students be notified?

Selected students will be notified by their home school district counselor, and can expect an official letter from the principal of the program.

What if a student who applies is not selected?

Students who meet the requirements, but are not selected will be placed on a waiting list for their school. Should a slot become available before the start of the school year, it will be offered to a student from the waiting list for that school. If all the available slots for a particular school are not filled, a lottery will be held among students on the waiting lists for all the component school districts.

Is freshman year the only time students can enter P-TECH?

Yes. Because of the way the curriculum is structured to allow for acceleration into college courses, only current eighth-graders are eligible to apply to P-TECH, and students must enter the program their freshman year of high school.

Do P-TECH students take part in their home high school graduation?

Yes, students will be able to walk with their peers during graduation, although they won’t actually receive their diploma until they leave the P-TECH program.

What college costs are covered for students enrolled in P-TECH?

All tuition for credits, labs and books are covered, and P-TECH students are granted the same privileges as other Hudson Valley Community College and SUNY Schenectady County Community College students. However, room and board are not included.

Are there built-in supports to help students with the transition to P-TECH?

New students entering P-TECH in September are required to attend a week-long Summer Bridge program that provides the chance to get acquainted with each other and to participate in activities that let them take the lead in developing their school’s culture. Team building activities and workplace tours with business partners are part of the program.

Who are the business partners and what role do they play?

Business partners will serve as mentors by providing students with work site visits, job shadowing, field experiences and more. Some of our partners include:

  • Alaant Workforce Solutions
  • AlbanyCanCode
  • CAP COM Federal Credit Union
  • Capital Region Chamber
  • Cisco
  • Dell
  • GreaneTree Technology
  • MVP Health Care


For more information about the P-TECH program, contact one of the following:

Mary Cahill
Capital Region BOCES Director of Educational Support Services

East Campus at Watervliet High School
Kurt Redman, Principal
1245 Hillside Drive
Watervliet, NY 12189
Phone: 518-629-3201
Fax: 518-629-3265

West Campus at the Center for Advanced Technology at Mohonasen
Makensie Bullinger, Principal
2072 Curry Road
Schenectady, NY 12303
Phone: 518-356-8200
Fax: 518-356-8247

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