The new falcon herald logo.
El Paso County Colorado District 49

D 49 kicks off new early college programs

With the start of the new school year, Falcon School District 49 is welcoming students to two early colleges in the district: Pikes Peak Early College and Power Technical Early College.According to Colorado Revised Statute 2253-103(10), an early college is ìa secondary school that provides only a curriculum Ö designed in a manner that ensures a student who successfully completes the curriculum will have completed either an associate degree or 60 credits toward completion of a postsecondary credential.îCheck out D 49ís unique early college programs.Pikes Peak Early CollegeAs reported in the July issue of The New Falcon Herald, the Pikes Peak Early College program provides high school students access to both high school and college classes at D 49ís Creekside Success Center.According to the article, David Knoche, executive principal at PPEC, said students can take the four, five or six-year pathway through the PPEC; when they leave, they are college or career-ready. ìThe students who plan to continue their college education can leave with their high school diploma and up to two years of college courses already completed,î he said in the article. ìThose who choose to get certified in a specific trade can leave with their diploma and certification, and go directly into the workforce.îStudents attending PPEC do not pay for the college courses they take, as long as they earn an A, B or C in each class, the article states.According to the Colorado Department of Educationís website, the Public School Finance Act of 1994 designates funding from state taxes, vehicle registration taxes and property taxes for Colorado schools, including early colleges.The doors opened for students at PPEC Aug. 8, and Venise Martinez was among them. Martinez, a senior at PPEC, said she attended three other high schools but none were a good fit for her. ìMy passion for learning brought me here,î she said.Martinez, who is considering a career in either the dental or literary/reporting field, said she enjoys the flexibility PPEC provides. ìAt PPEC, they really help you get a sense of what you want to do,î she said. ìThey arrange your classes to match what you want to do; and, if you do not enjoy that, you can easily go to the counselor and get everything switched around to go to something else.îBecause she is taking both high school and college classes, Martinez said her workload can be difficult; however, with desire and drive, anyone can be successful at PPEC, she added.ìThis school is revolutionary,î she said. ìIt is the start of a new educational movement. It is going to better prepare our future teachers, our future leaders to be ready to take on the world. We need to start building the sense that anybody can do anything, and PPEC can help you do it. They build on your talents and dreams, rather than just copy and paste.îPower Technical Early CollegeConstruction is almost complete on the new Power Technical Early College facility, a James Irwin charter school in D 49. The facility is at 2525 Canada Dr. in Colorado Springs, near the intersection of Peterson Road and Constitution Avenue.Rob Daugherty, principal at PTEC, said the school is different than traditional schools because the courses revolve around skilled trades. ìWhen I was in school, we would take wood shop or metal shop as an elective,î he said. ìAt PTEC, it is more advanced than that. Everybody is required to take shop classes. Most students will walk away with certifications of some sort, meaning they are certified in construction or manufacturing or welding, so by the time they graduate, they are actually job ready.îDaugherty said students can opt to spend an additional two years at PTEC to earn their associates degree through Pikes Peak Community College. If a student wants to go to college to become an electrical engineer, for example, he or she can get hands-on experience at PTEC and then move on to a four-year degree program, he said.ìSome students graduate from a four-year college with an engineering degree but have never picked up a hammer or used a tool,î Daugherty said. ìAt PTEC, students are all in class and hands-on with their education, which makes them more marketable.îAlthough the coursework revolves around the skilled trades, students still get a well-rounded education through cross-curricular learning, Daugherty said. What a student is learning in math or English class will apply to their shop class as well, he said. ìWe can tailor what we are doing in those (core) classes, like learning how to write; and then we apply it by writing about something we are going to build,î Daugherty said.Currently, about 160 students are enrolled at PTEC in grades six through nine, along with 12 10th-grade students, he said.As with PPEC, students at PTEC do not pay for the college courses they take as long as they earn at least a C in each class per the Public School Finance Act of 1994. Additionally, there is no tuition cost to attend PTEC.Daugherty said construction is scheduled for completion by Sept. 15. Because classes start Sept. 6, students will attend classes in an alternate space at Hilltop Baptist Church in Colorado Springs until the PTEC facility is completed, he said.ìWe talk a lot about the trades, and the reality is everything at this school is about innovation and entrepreneurship,î Daugherty said. ìI am super excited to see what these kids come up with.î

StratusIQ Fiber Internet Falcon Advertisement

Current Weather

Search Businesses

Search Businesses