NEW YORK — SAP SE today announced the opening of the Business Technology Early College High (BTECH) School, an innovative new school in Queens, NY, that enables students to earn a high school diploma, an associate degree in business systems or engineering technology, and gain relevant work experience in the business technology field — all at no cost to the family. Developed in collaboration with SAP, the New York City Department of Education, Queensborough Community College and the Early College Initiative at the City University of New York, BTECH is a response to the increasing demand for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) talent in the United States.
This kind of innovative public-private partnership model has created a six-year school that provides high school and college courses, as well as on-the-job experience and professional development training to ensure students are prepared to succeed in their future careers. These partnerships have been praised by President Obama* for preparing students with skills for the new economy and offering them a ticket to the middle class.
“The future of work is being redefined by new technology, demographic shifts and the next generation of employees’ expectations,” said Torie Clarke, senior vice president of Global Corporate Affairs, SAP. “Education needs to keep pace with these changes. Working together, private industry and public education institutions can create the programs required to support this new peer group and simplify their transition into satisfying technology careers.”
A core academic curriculum — designed and taught by faculty at Queensborough Community College — will help students develop a strong Liberal Arts & Sciences and Technological education. BTECH students will take the same courses as Queensborough students in Business CIS (Computer Information Systems) and Internet Technology as well as other related programs. QCC instructors will teach these courses with the same level of academic rigor as all other courses. Queensborough is working together with the teachers and principal of BTECH to ensure alignment of learning outcomes.
Employment in STEM occupations is projected to grow nearly two times faster than the average for all occupations over the next four years**, and economic projections point to a need for approximately 1 million more STEM professionals than the U.S. will produce at the current rate over the next decade***. To close this skills gap, SAP is helping to cultivate the workforce of the future. This is part of the company’s corporate social responsibility commitment to help increase the pipeline of talent ready to move into the technology industry.
In addition to a core academic curriculum, students at BTECH will develop strong technical, design and communication skills and will have opportunities to work with SAP technologies such as cloud solutions from SAP, the SAP HANA platform and mobile apps.
Mentorship and guidance will be a critical component of the program, and BTECH students will be paired with SAP mentors to help them stay focused on their education and understand what kinds of careers are available in technology. Students will also have the opportunity to gain real-world experiences working in IT or the corporate environment via apprenticeships, internships or job shadowing within the SAP ecosystem.
“The BTECH model adds multiple layers of opportunities for learning among teachers and students as we connect the classroom experience directly to the working world,” said Hoa Tu, founding principal, BTECH. “Working in partnership with SAP, we’ve developed a curriculum that empowers students to be successful in our modern, information-based global economy. Not only are we committed to the model, we’re also committed to each individual student’s learning to make sure that we are delivering on what we promise: desirable, job-ready employees in 2020.”
Students are selected based on their demonstrated interest in the school’s educational mission, which encompasses both business acumen and technological expertise. BTECH’s first class of 124 ninth graders brings together students from across all districts in Queens, New York.
*Speech by President Obama about the rising costs of higher education, Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at the University of Iowa Field House in Iowa City, Iowa
**U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
***2012 Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
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