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Governor Malloy Inaugurates Norwalk Early College Academy

Governor Malloy Inaugurates Norwalk Early College Academy
Posted on 09/15/2014
Governor MalloyGovernor Dannel P. Malloy today visited Norwalk Early College Academy (NECA) Connecticut’s first school modeled on the Pathways in Technology (P-TECH) Early College High School.

Joining the Governor in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the launch of the new program were leaders from NECA’s founding partners, including Dr. Manuel Rivera, Superintendent, Norwalk Public Schools; Dr. David Levinson, President, Norwalk Community College; and Stan Litow, VP, Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, IBM.  The Governor was also joined by Stefan Pryor, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Education; Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling; State Senator Bob Duff; and State Representatives Chris Perone and Gail Lavielle.  Cathie Schaffer, Tri-State Regional President, First Niagara Bank, and Rich Wenning, Executive Director, The Be Foundation, represented the two foundations that recently provided partnership grants for the new school.

NECA Director Karen Amaker and Norwalk High Principal Reginald Roberts represented the school, along with 90 cheering NECA Scholars.

The academy -- a collaboration among Norwalk Public Schools, Norwalk Community College and IBM -- formally opened its doors on August 27 with 90 students in Grade 9. Following the IBM P-TECH model, NECA will add one grade each year and ultimately serve grades 9 to 14. This will enable students to earn within six years both a high school diploma and a no-cost Associate’s degree in Applied Science. The model is designed to put young adults on the path to a good job; NECA graduates will be first in line if they choose to apply for jobs at IBM.

Each NECA student is being matched with an IBM mentor who will help their protégés understand how classroom learning has real-life application to the workforce. In addition, IBM is mapping the workplace and technical skills of some of its job positions into the academically-strong curriculum. Students will benefit from worksite visits, guests speakers, and may be offered skills-based paid internships to help gain the expertise and experience needed to work at IBM or other technology companies, or pursue further education.

Norwalk Early College Academy is co-located at Norwalk High School.  Like students in other P-TECH schools, NECA students will participate in an integrated sequence of high school and college classes, and engage in workplace learning activities such as job shadowing and internships. Students will graduate with both a high school diploma and an Associate in Applied Science degree from Norwalk Community College (NCC) within six years. The program used a lottery process to admit students from throughout Norwalk in its initial 9th grade class, and will grow by approximately 100 students each year.