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City Tech Helps Launch City Poly High School in Downtown Brooklyn

Planning for the debut of City Poly High are, from left to right, Regina Paul, small schools manager, National Academy Foundation; Brian Donnelly, early college program officer, The City University of New York; City Tech Professors Gerarda Shields and Anthony Cioffi, Department of Construction Management and Civil Engineering Technology; City Tech Professors Paul King and Alexandra Emma Benardete, Department of Architectural Technology; and Chris Aguirre, principal of City Poly High. Photo credit: Al Vargas.

New York City College of Technology (City Tech) has partnered with the New York City Department of Education (DOE), National Academy Foundation (NAF) and The City University of New York’s (CUNY) Early College Initiative to launch a new secondary school in Downtown Brooklyn that will enable students to graduate in five years with both a high school diploma and a college associate degree.

Making its debut this fall with 142 students, the new school – City Polytechnic High School of Engineering, Architecture and Technology (City Poly High) will be comprised of two academies – the Da Vinci Academy of Technology and the Roebling Academy of Engineering and Architecture. The latter also counts Project Lead the Way and the National Action Council on Minorities in Engineering as partners.

The new high school – housed at Westinghouse High School (105 Tech Place), adjacent to the City Tech campus – is the first of its kind in New York City. Currently, 11 Early College schools allow high school students to earn college credit at CUNY. But none are able to integrate a career and technological high school program with a closely linked career-oriented college degree as City Poly High will do.

The school will operate on a trimester schedule that allows students to earn credits faster and fulfill their high school graduation requirements in three years instead of four. It will blend a curriculum focused on career and technical education with advanced courses in such subjects as civil engineering, computer systems and architectural technology.

Throughout their time at City Poly High, students will collaborate in special courses to solve real-world problems in these three subject areas by applying skills learned in their classes. In the third year of the program, they will work at paid internships in business and industry, and take two courses for credit at City Tech. As part of the accelerated program, the students will be offered the opportunity to earn an associate degree at City Tech.

According to City Tech Provost Bonne August, the new school will make the transition between high school and college much easier. “The students will prepare for college through regular contact with City Tech faculty during the first three years of the program,” she says. “City Tech faculty will collaborate in developing curriculum as well as mentoring and teaching several of the technological courses at City Poly High. Students will also take a special course called ‘Early College Advisory Seminar.’” 

When they complete their associate degree at City Tech, students will be well prepared for entry-level positions, with opportunities for advancement, in fields such as architecture, civil engineering and information technology-related areas. Or they will be able to continue their studies for bachelor’s degrees in architecture and the engineering technologies.

Students who would like to attend City Poly High must have a desire to explore the fields of civil engineering, architecture and computer science; they will not be selected based on prior educational performance.

 “We believe that all students can succeed,” says Tony Cioffi, chair of City Tech’s Department of Construction Management and Civil Engineering Technology and curricula developer for the new school. “So we are looking for students who are motivated and want to learn about professions in engineering and technology. The response was so positive that we had to turn away students this year.”

“The new high school is a component of a major effort at City Tech that involves working with public schools to make sure that students are aware of the opportunities the College offers and are prepared to be successful in those programs,” August explains.

City Tech has developed a College Now program with Grady High School in Brooklyn, which is designed to prepare New York City public high school students for college, and is developing a similar program with the High School for Construction Trades, Engineering and Architecture (CTEA) in Queens.

In addition, City Tech professors serve on the advisory boards of CTEA, and the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism at Erasmus Hall and the Academy of Innovative Technology High School, both in Brooklyn.

For more information on City Poly High, go to: http://www.citypolyhigh.org.

08.31.09


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