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Second cohort of students to be inducted into Cyber P-TECH USA at Sam Houston
Sept. 28, 2020

What:    Second cohort of students to be inducted into Cyber P-TECH USA at Sam Houston
      Sam Houston is one of 17 schools to pilot EPIC Cyber Range, among other hands-on
              cybersecurity experiences

Who:     Sharene Dixon, Sam Houston High School principal
               Ashlyn Barrientes, P-TECH director
               Class of 2024 Cyber P-TECH students

When:    Sept. 29 (Tues) – 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Where:   Sam Houston High School, JROTC Building
                 4635 E. Houston St.

As parents drive their brand-new high schooler to a podium, the student will step out and pledge to successfully complete the Cyber P-TECH USA at Sam Houston program.

The ceremonial process – this year being conducted as a socially-distant, drive-through event – will continue for 65 students as the Cyber P-TECH USA program hosts the annual induction ceremony for its new student cohort, which is only the second for the program. The incoming students are the Class of 2024, and they are pledging to earn a high school diploma, industry certifications, and/or an associate degree in information technology cybersecurity specialist through St. Philip’s College.

The Cyber P-TECH program at Sam Houston was the first Pathways in Technology Early College High School within the county, city and the district. It launched in Fall 2019 and will grow to grades 9-12 as cohorts are welcomed each new school year. In collaboration with St. Philip’s College and industry partners, the program is a pipeline to a high-wage, high-demand career in cybersecurity.

A 2019 report issued by the Business Facilities 15 Annual Rankings determined that Texas has the most cybersecurity growth potential in the United States. Students in the program at Sam Houston will graduate with work-based training through internships from industry partners such as Accenture Federal Services, who provides cybersecurity for every cabinet-level department within the federal government. 

This school year, Cyber P-TECH students will participate in a pilot program through the Texas Advanced Computer Center (TACC). Sam Houston High School is one of 17 secondary schools in the state selected to participate in the launch of TACC’s EPIC Cyber Range program. The program helps students gain hands-on, real-world skills to protect companies and organizations from data breaches perpetrated by hackers.

Incoming students already have participated in a summer bridge program, which introduced them to the unique high school education ahead. During the summer experience, they problem-solved to develop an app prototype for the CivTech SA Challenge. Students presented their final products to a panel of judges from Geekdom, City of San Antonio Animal Care Services and CivTech SA.

Also over the summer, students from the first cohort participated in the Cybersecurity Texas Externship program and received accolades for their leadership skills during the virtual camp. Last fall, the first cohort also had the opportunity to meet and speak with Dr. Bernard Harris Jr., a former NASA astronaut and a graduate of Sam Houston High School.

In addition to activities focused on cybersecurity and STEM, each cohort of students in the Cyber P-TECH program also engage in the typical high school experience. They continue to have the opportunity to enjoy the extracurricular programs of any high school – from athletics to band, to student clubs and organizations.

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