Student Spotlight: Eliza Velazquez
Roger Mirabito, SUNY OCC

The P-TECH program has given Eliza Velazquez an accelerated pathway to a career. She’s a first generation college student who began thinking about her future several years ago. “I went to a P-TECH meeting in 7th grade and it interested me. I needed to go to college without having any expenses and this was a way to do so. It was a big part of my decision.”

P-TECH stands for Pathways in Technology Early College High School. The program helps high school students earn valuable credits toward an associate degree while partnering with industry leaders.

Velazquez attended high school at the Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central (ITC). In 10th grade she began coming to OCC for one class a semester in Electrical Technology and Mechanical Technology. “It was new and different. It was a little bit harder than what we did in high school and a good experience.”

After receiving her diploma from ITC last June, Velazquez entered OCC as an Electrical Technology major. She transitioned smoothly to life as a full time college student. “I’m doing good so far. I’ve been able to keep my GPA above 3.5.”

Velazquez will earn her degree in December. Her plan is to go directly into the workforce. She hopes students will continue to consider pursuing a P-TECH-related degree. “If you are really good at math and problem-solving, you can do well in P-TECH.”

View the full story on OCC’s website, by clicking here.