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Creation of early college pathway at Charlestown High School announced

January 22, 2015

Boston Public Schools

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Schools

C-Town Tech will focus on connecting college and career at the high school level.

At his State of the City speech, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the creation of C-Town Tech, an information technology (IT) program at Charlestown High School. The program is aimed at ensuring more youth complete high school, earn a college degree, and are well prepared for career success. C-Town Tech is currently recruiting for the program that will launch at Charlestown High School in September 2015.

"I want to see all of Boston's students succeed," said Mayor Walsh. "This robust partnership is creating a blueprint in Boston for high school learning and workforce training. By creating pipelines and educational incentives that lead to higher education, we can ensure our students are on track to employment and a bright future."

Through C-Town Tech, high school students can earn up to 30 college credits, the equivalent of up to two full college semesters, toward an industry-recognized IT degree at Bunker Hill Community College. In addition they will be able to participate in work-related activities such as job shadows and internships. The program is a partnership between SAP, the market leader in enterprise application software, Jobs for the Future, Bunker Hill Community College, the Boston Public Schools, the Mayor’s Office, and the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC), an organization that places and supports high school students in Boston area internships.

“This high tech program presents a fantastic opportunity for our students at Charlestown High School to earn free college credits and gain hands-on experience in a competitive market while they are still in high school,” said Superintendent John McDonough. “This partnership underscores our commitment to ensuring our students are well prepared for success in college and career.”

Through C-Town Tech, students will start earning college credit early in their high school experience while being exposed to IT careers through coordination between SAP and the Boston PIC. Students in the program will also have access to mentors at SAP, and work-based learning activities like job shadowing, career academies, career fairs, and short-term and long-term internships at SAP and within its ecosystem. Entry level IT jobs in the Boston area come with competitive salaries; for example, IT help desk salaries start at more than $45,000 a year.

“We look forward to the implementation of this program with Charlestown High School,” said BHCC President Pam Eddinger. “We are hoping to create a model template that can be replicated with best practices for a pathway that connects high school through community college to a well-paying career.”

“The SAP partnership with Charlestown High School and Bunker Hill Community College is an important step toward realizing Mayor Walsh’s vision of college and career pathways for all Boston high school students,” said Neil Sullivan, executive director of the Boston Private Industry Council.  “The integration of academic and technical education, combined with workplace experience and career exploration, is the formula for success for so many students. It’s not just for vocational students anymore. This approach is attractive for students at all ability levels, particularly high achievers who prefer to learn in context.”

C-Town Tech is part of SAP’s efforts to scale signature education initiatives such as B-TECH, an early college high school program in New York City.  The effort in Boston is part of a wider effort SAP is driving to equip the world’s youth with tools they need to thrive in the 21st century workforce.

“Our mission at SAP is to help the world run simple and improve people’s lives,” said Dave Spencer, managing director, East Region, SAP. “Working with this fantastic group of partners in Boston allows us to simplify the access young students have to education and to a career in technology."

“The 21st century economy is providing new opportunities for good careers, but many young people have no way to prepare for them.  We applaud SAP, Bunker Hill Community College and the other partners for opening doors for Charlestown High’s young people, and Jobs for the Future’s Pathways to Prosperity Network is proud to be guiding this exciting project,” said Marlene Seltzer, President and CEO, Jobs for the Future

A recruitment campaign for enrollment at Charlestown High School began in December 2014 and will continue through February, including an information session scheduled for February 28, 2015 at Bunker Hill Community College. The campaign includes short events that focus on exposing students in the 8th grade to IT careers and professions in order for them and their parents to make an informed choice about pursuing the C-Town Tech program.