Gov. Phil Murphy announced Nov. 28 that three New Jersey high schools will receive funding to implement the P-TECH (Pathway in Technology Early College High School) dual enrollment educational model for the 2019-2020 school year.

Students who participate in the six-year program receive not only a high school diploma but also an associate degree in science and tech fields. They can also land internships and mentorships at businesses that partner with the program.

The P-TECH model, developed by IBM, spans grades 9-14 and brings together public high schools, community colleges, and businesses to create a clear pathway from high school to college to career.

Panther Academy in Paterson, New Brunswick High School, and Burlington City High School have received state and federal funding to implement the program beginning in the 2019-2020 school year.

Murphy said the program may be expanded to other schools in future years.

“Through this innovative partnership, students will receive a high-quality education and gain in-demand skills that employers need in the 21st century, while employers will gain a diverse pipeline of skilled employees,” Murphy said in a statement.

The P-TECH model builds a close partnership among the comprehensive high school, community college, and industry partners to ensure students master academic, technical, and professional skills such as problem solving and collaboration.

The industry partners work closely with their high school and community college partners to ensure alignment with in-demand industry skills and provide mentoring, workplace visits, speaker presentations, and paid internships. Graduates are first in line for jobs with industry partners.

The governor was joined by Grace Suh, IBM’s vice president of education. IBM’s P-TECH model has been implemented in eight other states: Louisiana, Texas, New York, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Colorado, and Illinois.