NYS P-Tech, Trocaire offer Lackawanna students free education for high-skill healthcare jobs

Trocaire, the Lackawanna City School District, Erie I BOCES and Catholic Health were chosen as one of 16 partnerships created under NYS P-TECH, a program created to prepare high school students for skilled healthcare jobs.


Lackawanna students

How much does P-Tech cost?

The program is free for qualified students. As Dr. Linda Kerwin, dean of the division of health professions at Trocaire College, explains, “Students are able to receive a free private college education. All of the classes taught in high school and college are covered.”We spoke with Dr. Kerwin to learn more.

Lackawanna students

What is NYS P-TECH?
Dr. Kerwin: NYS P-TECH stands for New York State Pathways in Technology Early College High School. The program, also known as Health Occupation Pathways to Employment, or HOPE, is a state-awarded initiative that combines high school, college and the professional world to provide students with the necessary skills and education to succeed in healthcare occupations. The goal is for participants to complete their high school diploma and associate degree within six years.

Participating high school students will be guaranteed admission to Trocaire and upon graduation will be first in line for a job in the Catholic Health hospital network.


What do students have to pay for the program?
Dr. Kerwin: Nothing — that’s the best part.


Lackawanna students

When do students begin the program?
Dr. Kerwin: Students must apply in eighth grade. A selection committee then picks 20 exceptional students to participate in the program. Beginning in their freshman year and continuing through to graduation, these students will take Trocaire College courses in addition to their required high school curriculum.


What kind of classes do students take?
Dr. Kerwin: Students have the option of declaring a track in Surgical Technology, Radiologic Technology, Nutrition and Dietetics or Health Information Technology — although we don’t expect students to decide on a career right away.

They begin by taking general college courses that could apply to any track. At the same time, we work to expose them to each of the programs. By 11th grade, we ask students to pick a pathway. They will then spend the remaining two years taking those core classes.


Who teaches these classes?
Dr. Kerwin: Trocaire, Lackawanna High School and BOCES all work together to make sure teachers at the high school meet the necessary requirements to teach these classes and that they understand the objectives and expected outcomes.

If there are no teachers available, we will send Trocaire instructors to the high school. Once students have graduated from high school, they will then transition to Trocaire to finish taking the remaining required courses.


Learn more about NYS P-Tech

Know a student who would be a good fit for the P-Tech program? Maybe it’s you!  Visit Lackawanna High School’s website today to learn more.