Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH)

Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH) are innovative open-enrollment high schools that allow students least likely to attend college an opportunity to receive both a high school diploma and a credential and/or an associate degree. The hallmark of the P-TECH model is its career focus and the provision of work-based education. P-TECH programs:

  • Enroll historically underserved students, targeting at-risk and economically disadvantaged
  • Provide students grade 9 through 12 the opportunity to complete a course of study that combines high school and post-secondary courses
  • Enable students to earn a high school diploma, along with an associate degree, Level 1 or Level 2 certificate, or industry-based certification within six years
  • Offer age-appropriate work-based learning opportunity in every grade level
  • Allow students to gain work experience through an internship, apprenticeship, or other job training program
  • Align to regional workforce needs, guiding students into high-demand, high-wage careers
  • Partner with Texas Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) and regional businesses and industries, giving students access to post-secondary education and workforce training opportunities

The P-TECH Blueprint provides foundational principles and standards for innovative partnerships with colleges, universities, and industry. The P-TECH Blueprint contains six benchmarks outlining the design elements that each P-TECH campus must implement before serving students. Additionally, outcome-based measures in Access, Attainment, and Achievement provide guidance for P-TECH program implementation and continuous improvement efforts.

For more information please click here to visit TEA's P-TECH web site.

Benchmark 1: School Design

The P-TECH program must offer open enrollment and flexible scheduling structures that enable students to combine high school, postsecondary courses and work-based learning, at no cost to participating students.
a. Mentor/induction program plans
b. Annual training or professional development plan with P-TECH and IHE faculty
c. P-TECH leadership meeting agendas and notes

Benchmark 2: Target Population

The P-TECH program shall serve, or include plans to scale up to serve, students in Grades 9 through 14, and shall target and enroll students who are at risk of dropping out of school as defined by the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) and who might not otherwise go to college.
a. Written admission policy and enrollment application
b. Written recruitment plan including a timeline of recruitment and enrollment events, and recruitment materials for distribution at feeder schools and other appropriate locations in the community
c. Brochures and marketing in Spanish, English, and/or other relevant language(s)
d. Written communication plan for targeting identified audiences, parents, community members, school board, higher education personnel, etc

Benchmark 3: Strategic Alliances

Strategic partnerships with business and industry partners and IHEs are formally articulated in writing and clearly define a variety of careers.
a. Meeting agendas and minutes, with action items and decision logs
b. Final, signed, and executed MOU with industry partner/business (Campuses must submit their final signed MOU to TEA when initially applying for designation or are provisionally designated)
c. Final, signed, and executed articulation agreement with IHE (Campuses must submit their final signed MOU to TEA when initially applying for designation or are provisionally designated)
d. A list of strategic partners with each member’s organization, title and role in providing work-based learning for students by grade level

Benchmark 4: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

The P-TECH program shall provide a rigorous course of study that enables a participating student to receive a high school diploma, an associate degree, postsecondary certificate provided by an IHE, or industry certification during Grades 9- 14.
a. Four-year crosswalk document
b. Master Schedule
c. Curriculum alignment documents
d. Testing calendar and schedule for TSI, ACT, SAT or other assessments
e. Documentation detailing a minimum of three course of study examples that outline student pathways from high school, to associate degrees, to work credentials and beyond

Benchmark 5: Work-Based Learning

The P-TECH program must offer students a variety of relevant, high-skill work-based learning experiences at every grade level that respond to student interest and regional employer needs and contribute to students earning aligned industry certifications and credentials.
a. Documentation of appropriate work-based learning experiences for students at all grade levels
b. Current dated regional high demand occupation list
c. Aggregate data describing student participation in work-based learning experiences as well as percentage of students earning industry certification and credentials by type
d. Samples of student artifacts such as writings, portfolios, presentations, or links to digital content

Benchmark 6: Student Support

P-TECH will provide wrap-around strategies and services involving multiple stakeholders (parents, teachers, counselors, community members, etc.) to strengthen both the academic and technical skills necessary for high school and college readiness, as well as provide academic, technical, and individual support for students to be successful in rigorous academic and work-based learning experiences.
a. Bridge program calendar and curricula
b. Tutoring and other intervention/remediation program schedules
c. Calendar of family outreach events
d. Schedule of regularly scheduled counseling/advisory events and records of completion for these support services