Tara Magnet High School is preparing students for the future with its early college program

Oct. 26 2021

Tara partnered with IBM, Baton Rouge Community College and the East Baton Rouge Parish School System to create Pathways in Technology Early College (P-Tech). The program provides ninth- to 12th graders with an associate degree in applied science in computing and information technology. In addition, the tuition-free program has helped students who graduate from the program have the chance to continue their education at a four-year university or enter the workforce. Students also have the opportunity to enroll in dual-credit courses through the accelerated program.

Jael Holmes, Tara’s magnet site coordinator, said the students go through internships the summer after their junior year and look for full-time employment with IBM.

“The intent for the program was not just to fill an industry need but to also boost the economic potential of our community in Baton Rouge,” Holmes said. “We make sure our students are employable and have the skills that they need early to succeed.”

The Pathways program insists on providing the sources and information needed to help impact academic work in high schools.

The students learn technical skills such as JavaScript, C++, Systems, Intro to Logic Programming and basic terminology for coding. They are also learning how to construct elevator pitches, résumés, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles.

Holmes said the program is a hidden gem in the district.

“When you hear things like ‘early high school, college program,’ other schools come to mind,” Holmes said. “What’s different about this one is that students are exposed to Fortune 500 companies and receive all of the resources that come with it. For example, we have an IBM representative that’s on-site every other week, as well as a BRCC liaison. So the students are well supported.”

Click on the links to learn more information about the program or how to enroll your child at a magnet school like Tara.



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