NORTH PROVIDENCE – For the first time in school history, 12 students at North Providence High School will graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate degree from Community College of Rhode Island.
As part of Rhode Island Pathways in Technology Health Care’s first cohort, the 12 seniors plan to move into four-year schools this fall. They will register as juniors, having obtained 60 college credits under the program.
The Community College of Rhode Island welcomed graduates and their families last Thursday to Knight Campus in Warwick, celebrating their historic achievement.
College President Meghan Hughes praised the North Providence P-TECH students for bravely stepping into the unknown, beginning their P-TECH journey as the first North Providence group to do so.
They chose the classroom over the beach during the summer months and persevered in one of the biggest health crises the country has seen in decades, successfully transitioning to online learning while balancing a busy schedule in high school and college.
All of this, said Hughes, demonstrates “a tremendous amount of determination and dedication to their academic success.”
P-TECH is a partnership between school districts, CIRB, Commerce RI, the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, and industry partners that enables students to earn both their degree high school and associate’s degree over the course of four years for free, in addition to one-on-one mentoring, workplace visits, summer internships, and career opportunities with partner companies.
Since the program began in 2016, 600 high school students in Rhode Island have taken advantage of opportunities to earn credits and work experience. Although the program is still in its early stages, Hughes said the 12 NPHS students who successfully completed it prove that “this model works”.
“Our goal is to produce students who are ready to move on to a four-year university or enter the workforce, and our work through the P-TECH model is an important step in helping these students prepare and move on. train today for the jobs of tomorrow. She added.
“The CIRB has made everything easier for our students,” said Christen Magill, Principal of North Providence High School. “They loved being on campus for their classes and they were welcomed openly as young adults in a college setting. The partnership has been exceptional.
Amber Casey, senior from North Providence, said the program helped confirm her dream of becoming a physiotherapist.
When her father suffered a head injury and was paralyzed in a skiing accident before she was born, she said she saw how physical therapy helped her complete basic tasks and move freely around the area. using his wheelchair.
“I want to give people that feeling of freedom and relief,” she said, noting that P-TECH is renewing its passion for the field.
“P-TECH was a tremendous asset. Being able to follow someone who is already in the industry and do what we want to do helps you better understand what to expect once you enter the workforce. I’m very, very grateful for the whole experience, ”she said.
The program was demanding. Especially by juggling high school and college classes at the same time.
Casey said Melissa Caffrey, district director of Multiple Pathways Grades 6-12, kept the students on the ground and encouraged them to keep going.
Caffrey said the program is all about motivation, commitment and a passion to learn, “because if you have the motivation, you will take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to you. These students are a perfect example. They worked around the clock.
Now Casey is on the verge of completing the NPHS with his associate degree. In the fall, she went to Franklin Pierce College.
“If you had asked me four years ago if I would get my associate degree in senior year I would have called you crazy, but here we are,” she said. “This program has been an incredible journey and the most incredible time of my life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Cameron Twitchell was first drawn to the idea of getting an associate’s degree for free while in high school.
After trying his hand at respiratory therapy, he developed an interest in forensic pathology and will begin a career in this field when he transfers to Roger Williams University next fall.
“I found out that I was more interested in chemistry and that I was really good at it, so I decided it was a career that I would be interested in,” Twitchell said. “P-TECH gave me the opportunity to enroll in these courses and find out what I really wanted to do with my studies. “
North Providence Superintendent Joseph Goho said, “The students never cease to amaze us. The fact that we had our first cohort and one of the largest groups of P-TECH students in the state exceeded our wildest expectations. “
In addition to earning their Associate’s Degree, several P-TECH students also obtained their Certified Nursing Assistant License at CCRI, which allowed them to gain more hands-on experience working with partners in the CCRI. industry such as Brookdale Senior Living, Fatima Hospital and Golden Crest Nursing. Center.
Speaking at Thursday’s event, State Senate President Dominick Ruggerio said the program made “tangible links between the courses and their application in the real world.”
“The knowledge and skills developed through P-TECH will benefit all graduates and give them a head start in their graduate studies,” he said.
When companies consider relocating to Rhode Island, State House Chairman Joseph Shekarchi said the main concern is whether the state has enough skilled workers to support business growth.
“P-TECH programs like this allow students to gain valuable real-world experience while discovering different career paths, and it helps build Rhode Island’s workforce pool,” said he declared.
“The students graduating from P-TECH have shown initiative and dedication which will come in handy when they enter the workforce,” said RI Education Ministry Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green. , in a press release.
“Post-secondary education is becoming increasingly important across all career paths, and RIDE is proud to work with Commerce RI and CCRI to provide our students with the opportunity to graduate alongside high school. On behalf of RIDE, I would like to congratulate today’s graduates and wish them the best of luck in their future careers, ”she said.
North Providence P-TECH graduates are:
Jewliana Barry, transferred to Rhode Island College to pursue a career in radiology.
Amber Casey, transferred to Franklin Pierce University to pursue a career in physiotherapy.
Amelia Davis, transferred to Rhode Island College to pursue a career in secondary education.
Alyashanti Green, transferred to Tufts University to study chemical physics and enter medical school.
Annette Gweh, transferred to Johnson & Wales to study biology and pursue a career in nephrology.
Deanna Irrizary, transferred to Rhode Island College to continue her studies.
Meta Konte, transferred to Roger Williams University to pursue a career in dermatology.
Suzanne Mosley, transferred to Iona College to pursue a career in speech-language pathology.
Jacklyn Nolan, transferred to Rhode Island College to study nursing.
Addayo Owode, studying at the University of Rhode Island to pursue a career in the healthcare industry.
Kallie Poulin, transferred to the University of New Hampshire to study biology.
Cameron Twitchell, transferred to Roger Williams University to study chemistry and pursue a career in forensic pathology.