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Fox Tech developing RN pathway, P-TECH partnership

Fox Tech P-Tech

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High school students interested in nursing will have a new opportunity to get a head start in their chosen career field in the fall of 2020. San Antonio ISD’s Fox Tech High School, in collaboration with Metropolitan Methodist Hospital, San Antonio College and other community partners, is developing a new program that will provide students a pathway to obtaining an Associate in Applied Science in Nursing and eligibility to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

According to Johnny Vahalik, SAISD’s senior executive director of career and technical education, SAISD received a planning grant for the P-TECH model at Fox Tech. The Texas Education Agency’s P-TECH model, short for Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools, gives students the chance within four to six years to earn a high school diploma, an associate degree, a two-year post-secondary certificate or industry certification/licensure, and complete work-based training through internships, apprenticeships or other job-training programs.

“This is an excellent opportunity for students who want to stay local and go into the health care industry,” said Jennifer Benavides, principal at Fox Tech. “P-TECH in Nursing at Fox Tech is a perfect opportunity for students to gain a rigorous education, associate degree, RN License and potential job placement at no cost to the student. For our low-income students who may struggle to pay for college, this is a dream come true.”

Through San Antonio College, students will have the opportunity to earn an Associate Degree in Registered Nursing. The nursing program at San Antonio College is a 60-hour program. 

At the end of the program, students will have the opportunity to interview with Metropolitan Methodist, a P-TECH partner, for potential job placement at their hospitals. According to Payscale.com, the average starting salary for RNs in San Antonio is $27.67 per hour.

According to Benavides, 100% of Fox Tech students get accepted to four-year universities, but not all of them can afford to attend because of financial constraints.

“This new program will provide greater access to students to gain an education and also meet high demand jobs that we have in San Antonio,” she said. “It warms my heart to know that we at Fox Tech are able to serve our students and our community in this way.”

The proposed program would be the second P-TECH school within SAISD, the first being Cyber P-TECH at Sam Houston High School, which focuses on cybersecurity and opens its doors this fall.

Currently, the new program is in a year-long planning phase and details of the collaboration are being discussed between all parties involved. The District plans to make the program available for ninth graders in the fall of the 2020-21 school year.