A High School Education and College Degree All in One
Abby Ellin, The New York Times
Chigozie Okorie likes to say that he’s the “high school student who never left high school.” He’s kidding, sort of: Not only did Okorie graduate from high school, he also collected an associate degree and a full-time job at IBM within four years. And he’s now studying communications at Baruch College and expects to graduate next year.
Okorie’s job as a program associate in education at IBM requires him to spend time at his alma mater, Pathways in Technology Early College High School, or P-Tech, in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. P-Tech is a six-year program that gives students from lower-income backgrounds the chance to earn a high school diploma along with a cost-free associate degree in a STEM field.
Students at P-Tech are paired with a professional mentor and are eligible for a paid internship at IBM. On graduation, many go on to four-year colleges; others take full-time jobs at IBM, although they’re not required to.