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City Tech Wins $900K in Grants for Two Early College High School Partnerships

City Tech – in partnership with two Brooklyn high schools – was awarded two of just 16 state-wide “Smart Scholars Early College High Schools (ECHS)” grants funded by Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Each of the two grants was for $450,000, the largest amount awarded, and covers a three-year period.

City Tech’s partners are City Polytechnic High School (City Poly High), launched in fall 2009 in Downtown Brooklyn, and the brand-new Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-Tech), which will open its doors in Crown Heights this coming fall.

“This support enables us to further our collaboration with City Poly High and get our collaboration with P-Tech off to a great start,” says City Tech Provost Bonne August. “We welcome the continued opportunity to approach education in a more integrated way, helping students along the educational pathway from high school to college.”

In announcing the awards, Governor Cuomo said, "Smart Scholars allows New York high school students to receive college credit, finish their degrees faster, and do it at a significantly reduced cost. I commend my partners in government for working together and delivering a program that is beneficial to so many young New Yorkers."

At City Poly High, the grant will enable up to 70 students to have their first year of tuition at City Tech paid in full. This is in addition to the 78 students who are being supported by one of the initial ECHS grants, funded privately in 2009, in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. City Poly High students are required to meet one requirement for eligibility to qualify for the free first year of tuition at City Tech – they must complete their high school requirements in three years.

In addition, the new City Tech/City Poly High ECHS grant is enabling the College to offer enrichment activities to every student. These include preparation and fees for the PSAT exam, tours of at least six colleges in the metro New York area each year, workshops for parents regarding the college and financial aid application process, enhanced services for students with disabilities and English language learners to ease their transition into college, and the use of a college resource library at the high school. City Poly High students also may take two college credit-bearing courses without cost while they are still completing their high school requirements.

P-Tech, a collaboration with IBM and the New York City Department of Education, will be using the first year of the funding mainly for curriculum development. A team of City Tech and high school faculty are currently working together on an innovative  plan of study for the 108 students who will begin their studies this fall. The remainder will be targeted towards paying the salary of a liaison who will oversee the partnership.

"Smart Scholars is a winning combination for students and our state. The program will increase high school and college graduation rates and create more job opportunities while reducing student tuition costs because of compressed time to complete a college degree," New York State Senator and Chair of the Senate’s Higher Education Committee Kenneth P. LaValle said.

The ECHS program aims to make a college education more accessible, affordable and achievable to New York City students by removing the traditional boundaries between high school and college.  Early college schools blend a rigorous college prep curriculum with the opportunity to earn up to two years of college credit while in high school. 

“City Tech, City Poly High and P-TECH are demonstrating how education organizations can create new models that enable many more students to successfully make the transition from high school to college and careers,” said Cass Conrad, executive director, CUNY School Support & Development, which helped City Tech obtain the funding. “We’re excited about sharing their successes with others in the city and the state.”


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