PITTSBURGH TECHNICAL COLLEGE AND WEST ALLEGHENY SCHOOL DISTRICT CREATE PARTNERSHIP TO ADDRESS URGENT NEED FOR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS
High school students get dual enrollment opportunity in Pittsburgh’s most in-demand healthcare fields
PITTSBURGH—January 24, 2020 – Pittsburgh Technical College (PTC) and the West Allegheny School District (WASD) will launch five healthcare-based, dual-enrollment programs to address the growing need for professionals in the region. Through this workforce-driven program, students in the WASD can earn college credits while simultaneously completing their high school diploma.
This program provides a streamlined career path to in-demand fields while offering students a savings of more than 60 percent in tuition costs. Depending on the selected program of study, students may graduate high school with both a diploma and PTC certificate, or need to complete up to one year of additional study at PTC.
“Pittsburgh has a higher-than-average population of senior citizens and healthcare is a major pillar of our region’s economy,” said Terri Barbour, PTC’s Dean of Nursing and Healthcare Professions. “This program is designed to provide students with critical skills needed to serve the need for healthcare professionals while giving them a clear career path to be work ready.”
WASD Superintendent Dr. Jerri Lippert confirmed, “The WA PTC Health Sciences Academy is an excellent educational and career opportunity for our high school students. Access to early college while students are still in high school is a core goal and mission of our high school and has long term benefits for our students including being better prepared to persist to college degree completion and viable career attainment.”
“These types of innovative collaborations are a primary focus for PTC as we continue to prepare students for high demand and competitive careers throughout the world,” stated PTC president Dr. Alicia B. Harvey-Smith. “The partnership with WASD is an exciting opportunity for the two institutions to set the course for academic growth of students and create an innovative pathway to respond to growing healthcare demands within our region”.
“The PTC faculty have the same ethic of care for their students as WASD espouses with the goal of supporting students to post-secondary preparedness and degree completion,” commented Dr. Lippert, “Our PTC partnership supports our students completing a significant portion of their post-secondary education toward degree attainment, prior to earning their high school diploma, which makes them more competitive in the job market. WASD chose PTC as a partner given their willingness to reduce tuition costs to $100 per credit and their amazing partnerships and job placement rates with regional health care organizations and facilities.”
The five programs include a Medical Assisting certificate, Practical Nursing certificate (leading to LPN), Associate in Science, Nursing (leading to RN), Surgical Technology associate degree, and Therapeutic Massage Practitioner certificate. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects these careers to grow 12% by 2026, with RN growth at 15%. This is much higher than the average expected growth for most occupations.
West Allegheny High School students can begin the Medical Assisting program in their junior year and complete the full program while in high school, or if they begin in their senior year, one additional quarter of study at PTC will be required. The Practical Nursing and Therapeutic Massage programs each also require one final quarter at PTC, with the PN program beginning in the junior year and the massage program in senior year. Both Surgical Technology and the RN program require a final full year at PTC, but the classes taken in high school can be spread out over the student’s choice of two or three years.
WASD has previously partnered with Community College of Allegheny County in their Early College In High School Academy (ECIHSA), but it is the first initiative of its kind for PTC with hopes of extending it to other districts after an initial trial period. PTC currently offers college in high school credits for select courses at five local high schools including Blackhawk, Freedom Area, Gateway, New Brighton, and New Castle; and recently began a collaborative initiative with a grant from the National Science Foundation in which PTC faculty teach collegiate level courses in Mechanical Engineering Technology at Montour High School and participating students will earn PTC credits toward an associate degree in Computer Aided Drafting. PTC also offers dual enrollment with both Canon-McMillan and Montour high schools allowing students to take classes at PTC while still in high school. Additionally, articulation agreements are in place with more than 20 area schools in which students are awarded PTC credit for the completion of specific high school/vocational school courses.
Pittsburgh Technical College, located in Oakdale, PA, is a nonprofit, academic institution with more than 30 programs that prepare students for career success. For more information about Pittsburgh Technical College, visit www.ptcollege.edu.
Logos depicting the partnership between Pittsburgh Technical College and West Allegheny School District.