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D51, WCCC, Manufacturing Association partner on associate degree pathway

State approves program for Central High School students starting in 2019-20

Grand Junction, CO – Starting this fall, Central High School will be one of just seven Colorado high schools participating in a state grant program allowing students to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and an associate degree from a participating community college at no charge to the student. 

Students can choose a four-, five- or six-year pathway to complete their high school education at Central and an associate in Mechanical Engineering Technology, Machining or Welding at Western Colorado Community College. Their education will be fully funded through the state’s P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools) program. 

P-TECH forges public-private relationships across the state to encourage more students to prepare for jobs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). District 51, CMU/WCCC and Colorado Advanced Manufacturing Association-West worked hard to bring this program to the Grand Valley. Representatives from each organization publicly announced the P-TECH program at a press conference on Tuesday, February 26, 2019, at Central High School. 

“P-TECH is the next chapter in a decades’ story about the strong partnerships between School District 51, WCCC and local employers,” said CMU President Tim Foster. “Innovation and out of the box thinking has resulted in a P-TECH school that is the first of its kind in western Colorado — something all the partners should be proud of.” 

Central High School was chosen to participate in P-TECH because the grant is geared toward schools with larger populations of students who are low-income, English language learners or first generation college-bound students. 

“We welcome this opportunity for Central High School students and hope to expand to more high schools in the years to come,” said Cheryl Taylor, District 51 director of college and career readiness.

District 51 and Colorado Mesa would like to thank our business partners in P-TECH: GPD Global, Jabil Lewis Engineering, Reynolds Polymer, Schmueser and Associates, and Wren Industries.

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Emily Shockley, D51                                               David Ludlam, CMU

(970) 254-7912                                                       (970) 248-1868

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Written by David Ludlam