New Jersey to offer tech-focused vocational programs at three high schools

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced that three high schools will offer P-Tech STEM programs in the fall. (Michael Zorn/Invision/AP)

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced that three high schools will offer P-Tech STEM programs in the fall. (Michael Zorn/Invision/AP)

Next year, three schools in New Jersey will offer a new model for technical education. Known as “P-Tech,” program is slated for regional locations in the Garden State.

Burlington City High School — along with schools in New Brunswick and Paterson — will adopt the P-Tech model that teaches everything from advanced manufacturing to cybersecurity under a pilot program announced Tuesday by Gov. Phil Murphy.

“At these high schools students will receive a STEM-intensive public education that will lay a direct path to college and a career,” said the governor, referring to the subjects of science, technology, engineering and math.

Grace Suh of IBM, a corporate partner, said these jobs aren’t white-collar or blue-collar, they are “new-collar” jobs.

“P-Tech schools give students the opportunity to earn both a high school diploma and a two-year college degree, and this is not just any college degree,” she said. “It’s a degree aligned to labor market standards in a competitive stem field. It’s also a degree that’s unburdened by student debt.”

The P-Tech model connects high schools with community colleges to offer a seamless curriculum. New Jersey officials anticipate the new program to be in place for the next school year.

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