P-TECH program expanding in Grand Junction

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 7:25 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - A local program that lets students earn college credit while still in high school is quickly expanding in Grand Junction. In its first year, there were 35 students, and right now, 150-170 students are participating, and it’s projected to increase.

“So, the more opportunities and variety of fields that there are in career choices for students has allowed more students to participate,” said Cheryl Taylor with District 51.

Taylor is talking about the P-TECH program or “Pathways in Technology Early College High School,” which allows students to earn an associate degree, along with their high school diploma, tuition-free.

Taylor says the program is expanding, “This year, we added the health care and construction and the fire sciences.”

Joe Thye, a sophomore at Central High School, has taken advantage of the program’s expansion. “I’m working towards a construction and welding degree. That’s my pathway,” said Thye.

He says he heard about the program through STEM, “And thought it would be a great opportunity to use.”

The program aims to give students an opportunity to partner with businesses and really see the real world of work to make sure that is the field of work they want to follow. “A few of us went out and did a career day and went and saw all the construction field options,” explained Thye.

Taylor describes the program as a win-win for both the students and the community, “It helps our students get an associate degrees in an area we needed in our community for our workforce.”

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