Bright horizons: J.Hop students visit Pinellas Technical College

It’s never too early to learn about options for your future. That’s why John Hopkins Middle School students went on a field trip to Pinellas Technical College, also known as P-Tech.

PTC (P-Tech) is part of the school district’s Career and Technical Education program that offers licenses and trades to students high-school aged to adult.  

All Pinellas County students are eligible to apply to P-Tech when they are 16. One of the many things P-Tech offers students is the to get a G.E.D., or General Education Degree, instead of a high school diploma. Dr. Dallas Jackson is the current director of P-Tech, and a former principle of John Hopkins Middle School.

The visiting group poses in front of the P-tech sign “High school students really enjoy this place knowing that they could fall off the track and always get back on their feet,” said Dr. Jackson. He says the tours are important because it encourages students to find an interest they can pursue at P-Tech. “When touring, we take students where they could find a point of interest or liking to a program.”

Though Pinellas Technical College is a public school, there is a tuition to attend. Jackson says that the tuition can be afforded who have a small part time job. P-Tech offers multiple programs like Application Development & Programming, Automotive Service Technology, Barbering, and even Stage Production.

“I would like to go for practical nursing,” said Iolla Somwaru, an eighth grader from J.Hop.

“My mother went there for nursing,” said eighth grader Zoe Go.

Many students said P-Tech is a good choice. Some John Hopkins chaperones say they too were very satisfied and also fascinated with learning about the programs and future career for students.

“Sometimes the tuition and college expenses for a university is too much and this makes [P-Tech] the better choice,” said J.Hop counselor Ms. Arnold. She also said that this school “…is looked down upon because when said “I go to college” they expect a university to be said not a Technical College.” But J.Hop students learned this wasn’t the reality after making the visit.