Mansfield ISD Announces P-TECH Academy to Open August 2024


Photo by Mansfield ISD via Facilitron

Mansfield ISD announced a new innovation academy opening inside of Summit High School in August 2024. The P-TECH Academy will provide students with the opportunity to graduate high school with a Programming I certificate.

Luke Bellinger, Staff Writer

The P-TECH Academy at Summit High School will open in August 2024 with the inaugural freshman class of 50 students. (Photo by Luke Bellinger)

In Fall 2024, a new Early College program will open at Summit called P-TECH. Students from across the district may enroll full-time in the four-year P-TECH program which will primarily teach computer programming through TCC Dual Credit Courses. Dr. LeighAnn Tamplen, MISD CTE Director designed the new program.

“P-TECH stands for Pathways in Technology Early College, and I like to say that P-TECH is a cousin of Early College High School. The goal of P-TECH is to get a combination of dual credit industry-based certifications and work based learning opportunities,” Dr. Tamplen said. “It looks different depending on what the students want, and what their goals are. Some of them will be doing multiple certifications, some of them will be doing lots and lots of college hours, but every student will have an opportunity to learn and work in the field.”

Students can earn a TCC Associates’ degree in a computer programming field by the time they graduate which will help them get hired immediately out of high school.

“There will be the opportunity for them to graduate and get a job right away as a junior programmer, and there are a lot of growth opportunities in that field. When you’re a junior programmer, you are already very competent in computer programming,” Dr. Tamplen said.

Expansion of a new early college program at Summit will include courses not usually offered at other campuses, primarily in computer programming. Dr. William Coppola, President of TCC Southeast, is a part of the partnership with MISD.

“The TCC partnership with Summit for a new P-TECH program is in the planning stages to open in Fall 2024. The specific course and certificate information will be determined through conversations with the MISD and TCC leadership and industry partners over the next year. In general, all TCC Career and technical courses are hands-on courses that are taught by highly skilled and well-credentialled faculty using [a] curriculum that is built to provide students with the knowledge and skills that they need to be successful in the workforce or at a four-year university,” Dr. Coppola said.

Mouser Electronics will also have influence and aid with the P-TECH program both in infrastructure support and hands-on learning. 

“Mouser has been a tremendous partner with us, especially as we’ve tried to grow our STEM programs, and they donate money and equipment to different levels. You know, from McKinsey to all the way up to frontier STEM Academy, we have an entire lab space that Mouser donated to us. So they will allow students to come do internships at Mouser. They will do some guest speaking with us and some job shadowing with our P-TECH students, so that they can really start to see what that work looks like, and get some hands-on opportunities.”

The opening of a new early college program will benefit students through providing new opportunities in the computer programming field and partnering with other institutions like TCC and Mouser Electronics.

“We’re just really excited about the opportunities P-TECH aligns very well with our vision, vision 2030 of graduating all students college career and life ready. And this is a wonderful model, a school model to make sure that students do have the tools that you need to be successful right after high school,” Dr. Tamplen said.