January 9, 2007

Program receives nation's first Project Lead the Way certification for engineering, technology teacher education

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue's technology teacher education program has received official certification to offer its graduates Project Lead the Way engineering teacher credentials at the same time they receive their diplomas and Indiana technology education teaching licenses.

"Purdue was the first university in the country to offer this powerful combination of credentials to its technology education graduates," said George Rogers, program coordinator and an associate professor of industrial technology. "This makes our degree much more useful to students and valuable to school corporations because our graduates require no additional training."

Officials at New York-based Project Lead The Way recently certified the program, but a memorandum of understanding had allowed Purdue graduates to receive the credentials since May 2005.

To date 19 Purdue technology education graduates have been certified to teach Project Lead the Way engineering courses.

Project Lead the Way is a national non-profit organization that provides engineering and technology education curricula for teachers in middle and high schools.

In making the decision to certify Purdue's program, Project Lead the Way evaluators cited several strengths of the technology teacher education program: highly qualified faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, positive attitude and ability of students, and a general atmosphere of collaboration among university departments.

The technology teacher education program is an undergraduate specialization area in the Department of Industrial Technology. Students take courses in technology theory and application in the College of Technology and courses in classroom instruction in the College of Education. They graduate with both a technology degree and an Indiana teaching license.

The Project Lead The Way engineering component does not require the technology education majors to take any additional courses to qualify them to teach the project's pre-engineering courses geared toward the middle and high school students. The Project Lead The Way engineering content is integrated throughout the teacher education curriculum. High school courses Purdue graduates are certified to teach include introduction to engineering design, principles of engineering, civil engineering and architecture, engineering design and development, and computer-integrated manufacturing.

Across the nation, three other universities — Central Missouri State, Utah State and the University of Wisconsin at Stout — have followed Purdue's lead and are now integrating Project Lead the Way engineering components into their technology teacher education programs.

Purdue's technology teacher education program was recently chosen as the outstanding engineering and technology teacher education program by the Association for Career and Technical Education's Engineering and Technology Education Division. Purdue also received the award in 2004.

Writer: Kim Medaris, (765) 494-6998, kmedaris@purdue.edu

Sources: George Rogers, (765) 494.1092, rogersg@purdue.edu

Michael T. O'Hair, co-chairman of Indiana Project Lead the Way, (765) 455-9571, mtohair@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

Related news release:
Technology teacher education program honored as nation's best


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