San Antonio, TX - San Antonio ISD today announced it is taking applications for the new Healthcare Pathways in Technology Early College High School, or H-TECH, program, which will debut in August 2020, providing students with a track for a Registered Nurse (RN) career or other high-demand healthcare jobs.
Within four to six years (depending on the track chosen), H-TECH students can earn their high school diploma as well as an Associate of Science degree and/or healthcare industry-based certifications for Patient Care Technician, Pharmacy Technician, First Aid, and CPR. Students who complete the program will have priority in interviewing with participating employers.
The program will open for the 2020-2021 school year within the Health Professions magnet at Fox Tech High School. Partnering in the effort are San Antonio College, Methodist Hospital | Metropolitan, and University Health System.
Applications are being accepted for up to 50 incoming 9th-graders throughout Bexar County and surrounding areas now through January 31, 2020. The program will ultimately serve 9-12th graders, with a new grade being phased in each year.
"The P-TECH model, which H-TECH is based on, is the next generation of early college programs. What makes the Fox Tech program unique is its focus on the RN career track," said SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez. "The healthcare industry is a major employer in San Antonio and that is why our District has three other programs with health career pathways. H-TECH is the first one to be specific to registered nursing. I appreciate the partners that are joining this effort."
The Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 22 in 2017, paving the way for school districts to work with the Texas Education Agency to launch P-TECH programs. In the P-TECH model, schools partner with Texas institutions of higher education and regional businesses and industries, giving students both post-secondary education and workforce training opportunities.
H-TECH students at Fox Tech will complete work-based training through internships, apprenticeships or other job-training programs. In the first four years of the program, students will split their time between Fox Tech and San Antonio College. The last one to two years of the program student will spend time exclusively on the college campus, which is the largest educator for registered nurses in San Antonio.
"San Antonio College is excited to enter into a new partnership with SAISD to create a P-TECH high school providing students college courses to forge much-needed career paths in the Nursing and Allied Health fields," said Dr. Robert Vela, president of the college. "This is an extension of our robust relationship with SAISD helping students achieve associate degrees while attending high school through programs at Travis Early College High School, CAST Tech High School at the Fox Tech campus, CAST Med High School on the city's southside - and now this effort at Fox Tech."
Through San Antonio College, H-TECH students will have the opportunity to earn an Associate of Science. Upon successful completion of the H-TECH program, graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) authorized by and administered through the Texas Board of Nursing. Upon passing the exam, the graduate will be a registered nurse in the State of Texas and ready to begin a career in the nursing profession.
Students also will have the opportunity to learn from the program's industry partners at Methodist Hospital | Metropolitan and University Health System.
"This program is a wonderful example of how Methodist Hospital | Metropolitan is fulfilling our core competency of building partnerships to serve our community," said Greg Seiler, CEO of the hospital. "The H-TECH program at Fox Tech High School is an opportunity for our San Antonio students to be trained to fill the health care needs of the city. And it is a chance for the students to fulfill the dreams they have for their own lives and careers."
"We are proud to play a part in making these dreams a reality for these students - and to play an integral role in bolstering our health care talent pool," Seiler added. "These students live and learn in San Antonio. And our goal is that they will stay in San Antonio."
"University Health System is proud to partner with Fox Tech High School and San Antonio College to provide students an early opportunity to enter into the healthcare profession. Innovative programs like this change lives, both the lives of the students who participate and those of the patients we serve every minute of the day," said Tommye Austin, University Health System senior vice president and chief nurse executive. "As our community's healthcare needs continue to grow, so will the demand for highly trained nursing professionals. University Health System is honored to be a part of this initiative to give students a solid foundation upon which they can succeed and improve the health of our community."
H-TECH at Fox Tech High School will host four upcoming information sessions for interested students and their family members. The first one will be held on Thursday, January 9th at 6pm at the Fox Tech campus, located at 637 N. Main Ave. Additional sessions will be held at 6pm on January 16th, January 23rd, and January 30th. For more information, please visit the SAISD website.