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PTECH powers students’ pathways toward their dreams

Breyonna and hundreds of City Schools students will earn Associate's Degrees while in high school

Breyonna, a senior at Dunbar High School, has a passion for animals. For years, she’s enjoyed taking care of pets, searching out wildlife, and envisioning a future as a veterinarian. But she never could have imagined that she’d be earning college credits toward that profession by exploring her passion. 

Thanks to City Schools’ P-TECH Program, Breyonna has done exactly that! She’ll be graduating this spring with a high school diploma AND an Associate’s Degree in General Science from Baltimore City Community College. The degree and experience gives Breyonna a significant head start in getting college credits for a veterinary degree and in getting comfortable at college. 

And Breyonna isn’t alone. Currently, more than 400 City Schools students from Dunbar, New Era Academy, and Carver Vocational-Technical High School participate in Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH). Over their four-to-six year journey, they take free college courses in areas like health sciences, information technology, and logistics. 


If a four-to-six year college-level program for high schoolers sounds intensive, that’s because it is! Said Breyonna, “When I walked into the program, I was a little nervous. I was like ‘Woah, college classes?’ But I have always dreamed of this. I keep growing more and more every year.” 

That growth required significant dedication and effort throughout Breyonna’s high school experience. The hard work equates to a 3.89 unweighted high school GPA and a 3.6 college GPA. She and 205 other P-TECH students at Dunbar leave school Monday through Thursday and head to college, where they take 1-3 classes each day. They also take courses over the summer.

“Being on the college campus has in and of itself been a great learning experience,” explained Breyonna. “Beyond courses, we’re building skills in time management, professionalism, self-advocacy, and more - just from being there.” 

Breyonna’s favorite college courses? Microbiology and sociology. “I love science and math, and appreciated the challenge of these courses. Between the two of those classes, there were lots of interesting discussions about race, diversity, and the human body. It was great.” 

P-TECH extends past coursework to include mentorship,  internships, and postgraduate job placement. This summer, Breyonna will take part in an immersive internship at Johns Hopkins Hospital, gaining hands-on experience in the medical field. In the internship and in college coursework, P-TECH students like Breyonna have ample support from mentors and educators ensuring they stay on track. 

“I don’t think our P-TECH students like Breyonna realize how special they are,” beamed Tara Williams, P-TECH Program Coordinator at PTECH Dunbar High School. “These students are doing something amazing. They’re getting ahead academically and financially by earning free college credits in high school. The experience and exposure is irreplaceable. P-TECH is really a hidden gem in Baltimore City.”  

As Breyonna nears graduation, she knows the effort has been worth it. “I remember really needing to push myself during the pandemic, saying ‘I can do it. I can do it’. I feel pretty proud of myself now.” 

Looking ahead, Breyonna plans on attending Bowie State University for Veterinary School in the fall, applying the 62 college credits she has already earned towards her degree.  

Learn more about City Schools’ PTECH programs:
P-TECH at Paul Laurence Dunbar High
P-TECH at Carver Vocational-Technical High
P-TECH at New Era Academy

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