On Ramp to College
Dual Enrollment Impacts from the Evaluation of New York City’s P-TECH 9-14 Schools
The New York City P-TECH Grades 9-14 (P-TECH 9-14) high school model involves a partnership between the New York City Department of Education, the City University of New York (CUNY), and employer partners that collaborate with the schools implementing it. The schools prepare students for both college and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields by allowing them to earn an applied associate degree in addition to a high school diploma and gain relevant work-based learning experiences within a six-year timeframe.
The P-TECH 9-14 model includes an accelerated schedule for earning high school course credits and passing statewide standardized tests, which are required for high school graduation and admission to most state colleges and universities. High school classes are frontloaded, and students take the New York State Regents exams early. Passing the Regents exams early gives students the opportunity to enroll in college courses at CUNY while still in high school. This dual enrollment is a key component of the P-TECH 9-14 model and its career and technical education (CTE) curriculum. It exposes students to postsecondary education, allows them to earn college credit toward an associate degree, and complements their exploration of STEM careers. Students can start taking some Regents exams as early as the summer before ninth grade. They must pass the exams with college-ready scores in order to enroll at CUNY, and they can begin taking college courses in the tenth grade (Program Year 2).
In an interim report released in 2020 on MDRC’s ongoing evaluation of the model, the research team found significant impacts on P-TECH 9-14 students taking Regents exams and passing them with scores at the standard required for admission to CUNY.
This brief presents findings from an impact analysis comparing dual enrollment outcomes for students enrolled in P-TECH 9-14 schools with those for students enrolled in other city public schools. The research team found significant positive effects on outcomes for P-TECH 9-14 students, who on average dual enrolled at much higher rates and both attempted and earned more college credits than comparison group students by the end of four years of high school. The brief also presents findings from an analysis of these outcomes by gender, showing female students enrolled in college credits during high school at higher rates than did male students in both P-TECH 9-14 schools and comparison schools.
The research team continues to evaluate the P-TECH 9-14 model and will examine academic outcomes, including high school graduation and postsecondary education outcomes, for the model’s full six-year period. The final report, expected to be released in 2023, will also include final implementation findings and a cost study.