NEWBURGH – When Newburgh Free Academy students enrolled simultaneously in the P-Tech program graduate from high school next summer, they will have also earned a two-year associate of applied sciences degree from SUNY Orange.
The program, in collaboration with the community college and IBM, began in 2014.
High school senior Christian Molina has been enrolled in the dual program for the past four years.
“It’s a two-year degree in applied sciences in cyber-security and networking,” Molina noted. “And what the school likes to do is as you go through your high school career you take college classes along the way so it’s like a four-to six-year program, kind of like at your own pace, so the more classes you pass and take, the more college classes you will get and the faster it is to receive your degree.”
Fellow senior Alana Harris said the dual program “has been a challenge,” but you work through it “like a family.”
As part of the program, the students also intern at IBM. Senior Anais Camacho helped Big Blue update its records.
The ambitious program doesn’t end there. The students have also raised funds to embark on international missions. A dozen P-Tech students and their teachers went to Thailand on one particular operation.
Students participate in the P-Tech program by first writing a brief paper, being placed in a pool with a lottery chosen with students being interviewed by faculty.
Anais’ sister is also in the program and she was excited to be selected through the lottery to participate as well.