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University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG -09/17/2007 - Adding to its longstanding reputation for preparing educators, UCM has received national certification from the internationally acclaimed secondary engineering education organization, Project Lead the Way®. With this distinction, UCM joins Purdue University in becoming one of only two institutions in the United States to meet certification requirements to offer pre-service training for technology education majors.
Offers National Teacher Certification
Ben Yates, program coordinator for Technology Education at UCM, said students who graduate from this program will be certified to teach Project Lead the Way® (PLTW) courses at high schools anywhere in the United States, Virgin Islands and American Samoa. Graduates, however, will still need to be licensed in the state where they will teach.
Rapid Growth of Program Attracts Students
“Enrollment in Project Lead the Way® courses in public schools across the U.S. has been growing at an exponential rate,” said Mike Wright, dean of the UCM College of Education. “With the rapid growth of PLTW programs in Missouri, we should be able to attract large numbers of students to UCM for engineering technology degrees and teacher education.”
Preparing Students for Success
Project Lead the Way® is a not-for-profit organization which provides a rigorous curriculum designed to prepare a diverse group of students to be successful in science, engineering and engineering technology. High school students who successfully complete PLTW courses and pass national college exams have the potential to earn university credits while still attending high school.
Engineering and Engineering Technology
One of the core values for PLTW is to increase the number of young people who pursue engineering and engineering technology programs which require a four- or two-year college degree. UCM teacher education students will learn how to teach specific PLTW engineering courses to high school students so they will be better prepared for college.
Enhancing Teacher Marketability
Yates believes that UCM graduates who gain PLTW certification will enhance their marketability, while also saving school districts that hire them thousands of dollars. Currently, school districts that want to offer the PLTW program must send their teachers to an intensive two-week summer training which costs $3,500 to $4,500 per teacher, per course.
“There are currently eight courses schools can have in their high school program in addition to one middle school course. UCM is initially training our pre-service teachers for four of the nine courses, with plans to add three more in the next two years,” Yates said.
For More Information
Anyone who is interested in learning more about Central Missouri’s involvement in PLTW and opportunities for students should call Yates at 660-543-4304.