Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
•Quality and Certification
•The iPortal
•How can we help?
Preparing Students for the Global Economy
California PLTW Statewide Meeting
February 20-21, 2014
All PLTW Engineering Courses are “A-G” Approved
Approved as “g” electives:
• Intro to Engr. Design (interdisciplinary)
• Digital Electronics (math)
• Principles of Engineering (interdisciplinary)
• Aerospace Engineering (interdisciplinary)
• Civil Engr. & Architecture (interdisciplinary)
• Computer Integrated Manufacturing (other)
• Biotech Engineering (science-biological)
• Engineering Design and Dev. (interdisc.)
All PLTW Engineering Courses are A-G Approved
Approved as “f”, Visual & Performing Art:
• Introduction to Design
Optional approval for modified version of IED.
Supplemental material found @
District (not UC or PLTW) usually requires an art credential.
Approved as “d”, Lab Science:
• Engineering Design and Development
Listed as Engineering Research & Development (ERD)
District (not UC or PLTW) usually requires a science credential.
PLTW Biomedical Science Courses are
UC Approved as D Lab Science
Principals of Biomedical Science (PBS-1st course)
Human Body Systems (HBS-2nd course)
Medical Interventions (MI-3rd course)
• All 3 courses approved as D lab science.
Your district will likely require a science credential to
offer this for graduation science credit but UC has no
such requirement.
Biomedical Innovations (BI-4th course)
•Has been approved as a G elective
How to Submit PLTW Courses for A-G Approval
 All PTLW courses are considered “previously approved” even
though your school has not yet offered them at your school site.
All PLTW courses have program status and have already been
reviewed by a faculty committee for approval.
Most applications will be automatically approved within a few
days of submission
All Project Lead the Way course titles are followed by (PTLW).
How to Submit PLTW Courses for A-G Approval
On the 1st page of the “New Course” submission application, the update site prompts are for information about
the teacher.
2. On the 2nd page of the “New Course” submission application, select “yes” when asked if the course is
previously approved.
3. The next page will ask if the course is modeled after a school outside of the district, leave the default to “no”.
4. The following page will ask if the course is being reinstated, leave the default to “no”.
5. On the next page entitled, “Cover Page – Program Status”, change the default to “yes”.
6. The radio button will become accessible so that you may select “Project Lead the Way” from the Program
Status list.
7. On the next page, type in the first three letters of the course title as it appeared on their UC-approved course
list. Do not press “Enter”. A drop down menu will appear where you may select the ROP from a list.
8. On the next page, type in the first three letters of the course title as it appeared on their UC-approved course
list. Do not press “Enter”. A drop down menu will appear where you may select the course from a list. Please
note that the exact course title must be used on the submission.
9. Fill in the rest of the required fields in the “New Course” submission application.
10. Review the course submission on the “Course Summary” page and when the information is correct, click “next”.
11. On the “Course Submission” page, enter a contact e-mail where the submission confirmation e-mail should be
sent and click “Submit”.
12. Verify that your new course submission has been submitted by checking for a confirmation e-mail sent to the
contact e-mail and that the submission appears in the “Recent Work – Submitted” box at the bottom of the
“Start Here” page.
How to Submit PLTW Courses for A-G Approval
The Important Gotcha's
Note that lab science-based courses must have the appropriate required
prerequisite in order to be approved for your school. For Principles of
Biomedical Science, your application must show biology as a prerequisite.
However, the teacher may wave any prerequisite for students that have
demonstrated the required ability and knowledge some other way.
You must fill in the name of a textbook, but any textbook will do. We
suggest “PLTW’s Electronic Classroom Resources including the PLTW
electronic textbook for (fill in course name here)”.
You may need to answer one or two questions such as:
the background of the course.
how it fits in your course of study
You may fill these in with any answer that makes sense for your school.
Credentialing for PLTW Courses
The CTC has published a document that gives guidance
but doesn't specify a required credential. Here's the link:
The pertinent paragraph reads:
NOTE: For the subject areas of engineering and technology, there is
teacher assignment flexibility depending on the specific content of the
course. For example, a high school engineering course may be more
focused on drafting and design or it may be more physics based. A
technology course may focus on computer technology or on
mathematics-based computer programming. The education agency
responsible for hiring will determine when a Single Subject Credential is
appropriate or if a Designated Subjects Career Technical Education
Credential is a better fit.
Credentialing for PLTW Courses
The CTC clearly states that the hiring agency (your school district) has the
obligation and power to review the material being taught and decide for
yourselves what the most relevant credential is.
Unfortunately, the COE may come in with preconceived ideas and make up
their own requirements. We believe this is completely unjustified.
We hear of completely opposite decisions for the same course, depending
on which COE does the review.
Credentialing for PLTW Courses
Three things that may help get approval for the credential you want are:
1) Develop a good personal relationship with the COE credential reviewer.
2) Write up your course description to emphasize the aspects of the course
most relevant to the credential of the person you select to teach the
course, e.g., If you have a physicist teaching POE, emphasize all the
physics being taught. If you have a CTE teacher, emphasize tool safety
and drafting.
3) Be prepared to show them the CTC document and explain that, based on
your review of the material being taught, your curriculum experts
determined that a XXXXXXX credential was most appropriate, as required
by the CTC. They can argue your decision, but the CTC has clearly stated
it's YOUR decision.
Credentialing for PLTW Courses
Concerning the phrase “highly qualified” within NCLB, this
usually does not apply to PLTW courses since they are not core
classes like math and english.
The only completely firm requirement concerning credentials
for PLTW courses is that your teacher MUST have a CTE
credential if you use Perkins money to fund the course.
Strangely, your students will get UC “D” credit for the BMS
courses, UC “F” credit for ID, and “G” elective credit for the
engineering courses, even if the teacher has a music credential.
However, if you offer science credit toward graduation, your
district and collective bargaining organization will almost
certainly require a science credential. This is NOT a PLTW or UC
What is “Program Quality”
Why “Certification”
How does Certification work today
What changes are being discussed for PLTW
Certification in the near future - and why
What characterizes PLTW Programs?
Imaginative and independent thinking
Work in small teams
Creative problem solving
Hands-on curriculum structures teach
skills useful in careers and college
Highly trained and motivated teachers
Actively participative partnerships with
industry, the community, government
Recruits kids into STEM career tracks
Motivational to college
Improved test results
Some measures of Program Quality:
• PLTW courses taught by qualified, engaged, and
inspiring teachers
• PLTW program adequately supported in fact by
school administration and district
• Each course has sufficient equipment, software,
and space so each student can participate as
intended by the course designers
• Class size permits effective teaching, team
formation, and individual student participation
• Each course is being conducted substantially in
accordance with the intent of the designers
Some measures of Program Quality:
PLTW classes as conducted prepare students
for careers - real jobs in the real world
• PLTW students and parents have a vision for their
overall program and how the PLTW curricula fit in
• School administration and counseling staff have a
vision for the program as a whole - future plans,
• PLTW program is integrated / coordinated with
main stream academic programs, extra-curricular
programs, community activities
• Partnership team is in place, is familiar with the
PLTW courses and provides support
What is School Certification
• Process through which PLTW and the school
confirm that the PTLW program is in substantial
conformity with the District Agreement and
Program Requirements
assess the quality of the program in absolute and
relative terms
Why School Certification?
the PLTW perspective
• Determine if program has has been implemented as
• Identify corrective measures, provide feedback to
school and to PLTW national
• Collect feedback about curriculum effectiveness for
PLTW curriculum designers
• Collect feedback about program administrative and
operational performance
• Identify outstanding performance elements which can
be used elsewhere
• Provide an objective measure of program outcomes impact on students, impact on production of students
undertaking STEM college and career tracks
Why School Certification?
the School Perspective
• Required by the District Agreement
• Recognition as a school that has achieved excellence
- for students, teachers, parents, community,
partnership team, district, State
• Provides opportunities for students to receive college
credit for PLTW courses
• Provides opportunities for teachers to become PLTW
Master Teachers
• National Listing of Certified Schools
• Certified schools are examples to schools
considering PLTW
• Assists in fund raising and recruitment of students
and industry and community partners
School Certification- the process
• Available after a PLTW school has established an operating
PLTW program and is offering the required curriculum
• Provisional or Full Certifications
• Two stage process
On-site review
School Certification- the process
• PLTW Certification Team
• School Team - site leader, administration (principal),
counseling staff, teachers, partnership team, parents,
• Agenda for the day
– class room visitations
– meeting with principal
– meetings with counselors, teachers, students,
parents, partnership team members
• Observations of class equipment, class room
demeanor, notebooks, portfolios, software files,
assessment reports
• Process outlined on PLTW web site
School Certification- the process
• Tentative evaluation on the day of the site visit
• Feedback to School Team
• Report to National Office
• Full or Provisional recommendation
• National sends results to school, with
certification and banner
• School added to national roster
• 5 year renewal
What changes to Certification are being
considered and why
• Is the process currently meeting its mission of
ensuring program quality, providing recognition to
stakeholders, providing means for continuous
improvement for participating schools?
• Can the process be made more streamlined and
• Does the process offer real “value” to the kids and
the schools
• Can the process be adjusted to reflect variability
between schools and districts and to reflect
changing conditions
What changes to Certification are being
considered and why
• Potential New Levels of “Certification”
• On-track: Years 1-3 for new programs
• Fully compliant: meets all minimum
program requirements, expected by end of
year 4
• Banner Certification: Standout schools
• Exemplary or Model Schools
• Provisional
What changes to Certification are being
considered and why
Make the process simplified and more
•Quality measures automatically collected
from reports filed electronically by schools
– Rosters
– Assessment test results
– V irtual site visits
•“Live” site visit may not be required
•Quality team may be asked to visit for
to provide assistance
What Changes to Certification are Being
Considered and Why
•Nothing has changed yet
•We would like your input on how the process can be
•What value would you place on a revised
certification process

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