Science seemed to be in Lilly La’s future from a young age. “I was always taking part in science competitions and I loved the technology class I took at Frazer Middle School,” La said. Today she is a junior at the Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central who is taking science-related classes at OCC as part of the “P-Tech” program. P-Tech stands for Pathways in Technology Early College High School. The program helps high school students earn valuable credits toward an associate degree while partnering with industry leaders. P-Tech students can pursue a degree in either Electrical Engineering Technology or Mechanical Technology.
During the fall semester La is focused on Mechanical Technology. Every Monday and Wednesday she comes to the Whitney Applied Technology Center and spends the morning in Engineering Drawing class. “This is a great opportunity for a high school student,” La said. “I enjoy taking a college class and I have a good professor (Richard Mark) who I get to work one-on-one with.”
William DeJesus is also enjoying his opportunity to earn college credits at OCC. He’s in a Machine Tool class which is also part of the Mechanical Technology major. “I’ve learned a lot about time management. You have more work than you do with a high school class and you learn how to get it all done.” On Monday’s DeJesus attends lectures. On Wednesday’s students have class in a machine shop setting and practice what they’ve been learning. “It’s nice to get time working with the machines. I enjoy the opportunity to not always be in a classroom.”
In the spring semester La and Dejesus will switch classes. La and her classmates will take the Machine Tool class, DeJesus and his classmates will be in Engineering Drawing. During their senior year students from the Institute of Technology will come to campus three days a week.
All costs associated with the P-Tech program including tuition, books and fees are covered by a grant from the New York State Education Department.