Four students in the HFM PTECH program finished all the requirements for their associate degrees and high school diplomas in December of 2019, making them the latest students to have completed the program.
The students have earned their associate degrees from Fulton Montgomery Community College as part of the six-year Pathways in Technology Early College High School program.
Rane Dutcher of Gloversville and Cierra Mason of Northville earned their degrees in Computer Information Systems. Aaron Bates of Fonda earned his degree in Health Studies, and Grant Stevens of Fort Plain received his degree in business administration. All four students completed the program in 4 ½ years.
Mason said she plans to continue her education to work toward her bachelor’s degree beginning in the fall of 2020 and wants to work in website design and development. “I want to take this degree and specialize more,” she said.
Mason said she is grateful not only for the free college she received through PTECH, but also for the unique experiences, including workplace tours and the team-building she learned through group projects. “I had opportunities I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise, like Underwater Robotics Club and going to Baltimore for Nationals in FBLA,” she said, adding that she also appreciated the internship opportunities. Mason worked for a local State Farm agent and on the Information Technology team at FMCC.
Bates also said he wants to build on the degree he earned through the PTECH program, possibly in the radiologic technology field. He said the project based learning at PTECH allowed him to tap into his creative side. “I’m a hands-on person, and at PTECH, I was able to express myself.”
HFM PTECH, a program that provides the opportunity to students in the region to earn their associate degree at no cost to their families, is in its sixth year of operation. The addition of these four graduates brings the number of students who have completed the program to 40.
The December graduates will be invited to participate in the third annual program completion ceremony in June, when about two dozen more students are expected to finish.