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


P-Tech Students group photo

Educating the Future Nursing Workforce

Offered through high schools and community colleges nationwide, Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) allows students to earn a high school diploma and an associate degree and gain relevant work experience in a growing field. Each P-TECH school works with industry partners and a local community college to ensure an up-to-date curriculum that is academically rigorous and economically relevant.

The partner schools create a seamless program for students to acquire the academic and workplace skills that employers need. Students take high school and college coursework simultaneously and engage in industry-guided workforce development.

Baltimore City Community College logo and PTECH at Dunbar logoUMSON is collaborating with P-TECH Healthcare at Dunbar High School in West Baltimore and Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) to introduce the first nursing pathway to P-TECH students in Maryland. In six years or fewer, students graduate with a high school diploma and a no-cost, two-year associate degree in nursing from BCCC. These students are mentored and encouraged on their journey to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (and beyond!) at UMSON. P-TECH nursing students begin taking college courses at BCCC the summer after their freshman year of high school.

Based on a model developed by IBM and geared toward careers in technology, the state of Maryland expanded the P-TECH focus to include careers in health care, including nursing.

What is UMSON’s role in the P-TECH Program?

Maryland received Nurse Support Program II funds, which are awarded by the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission and administered by the Maryland Higher Education Commission, to develop a P-TECH nursing pathway.

P-TECH students interested in a nursing career begin their nursing education at BCCC, graduating with their Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). Through a Dual-Admission Partnership between BCCC and UMSON, eligible ADN students can begin taking classes toward their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree while still enrolled at BCCC, receiving support and mentorship along the way to support their smooth transition. 

Why is it important?

P-TECH students begin college earlier and graduate from college earlier, acquiring skills necessary to advance their careers and education. P-TECH nursing students will help fill vital nursing jobs in many different health care facilities in and around Baltimore, and the P-TECH nursing pathway will expand the number of registered nurses graduating from BCCC and UMSON. With a career in nursing, P-TECH students enter the job market with the necessary skills to advance patient care in Maryland.

How does it work?

Launched in 2016, the Maryland P-TECH program accepts 50 high school freshmen annually. Accepted students complete their high school courses at Dunbar High School. Led by a Baltimore City Public Schools principal, P-TECH students are supported to develop an awareness of and interest in one of three health care careers — nursing, respiratory therapy, or physical therapy — and are advised about relevant course requirements and sequencing.

P-TECH nursing students take their first college course at BCCC during the summer between their freshman and sophomore years of high school. Once they begin taking classes at BCCC, students are paired with mentors who help guide them through community college, answering questions and helping to acclimate students to their future profession.

Through UMSON’s Dual-Admission Partnership program, students can complete their bachelor’s degree after earning their ADN. The BSN program can take two years (of full-time study) or as many as five years (if attending part time). Students will be supported to enter the workforce after earning their licensure.

Mentor a future nurse.

Licensed registered nurses, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) students, and Clinical Nurse Leader master’s students are eligible to mentor P-TECH high school students once they begin taking nursing classes at Baltimore City Community College. Learn more.