Unama’ki P-TECH School Model

October 12, 2021

NationTalk – Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office, Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey and Nova Scotia Community College, along with IBM today announced they are partnering to deliver the Unama’ki P-TECH School Model (Pathways in Technology, Early College High School) to the Indigenous youth in Nova Scotia. The school program will be based in Eskasoni with the first cohort of students being from three Unama’ki communities.
The Unama’ki P-TECH model offers integrated high school and college curriculum focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). It will enable the Unama’ki students to graduate with a high school diploma, and a tuition-free, industry aligned, two-year college diploma, with workplace experiences within six years or less. Hallmarks of the program include industry one-on-one mentoring, workplace visits, paid summer internships, and be considered as first-in-line for interviews regarding IBM open positions
The Unama’ki P-TECH program will incorporate technical proficiency such as programming, while fostering professional skills, including critical thinking, problem solving, communication and adaptability for new-collar jobs. In addition, aspects of Mi’kmaq culture, language and other Indigenous teaching such as their guiding principles of “two-eyed seeing” will be part of this school’s P-TECH model.
The P-TECH model provides participants with work experience with employers in the ICT sector that addresses industry’s need to have new grads with experience along with well-developed professional workplace habits. For the Indigenous participants having mentors, and connections to employment built into this program addresses the need for real opportunities. This program allows participants not just to dream about opportunity but more importantly they are able to realize those dreams.