Students from Certified PLTW Schools May Receive College Admissions Preference, College Credit
and Scholarships at PLTW Affiliate Universities
Liberty,SC– Pickens County Career and Technology Center announced today that it has received national certification for its Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Biomedical program that it has been offering since 2008. PLTW, a nonprofit organization and the nation’s leading provider of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education programs, offers a rigorous curriculum that allows students to apply what they are learning in math and science class to real-life biomedical sciences projects.
The PLTW certification program recognizes schools for successfully demonstrating a commitment to PLTW’s national standards in Pre-Engineering and Biomedical Sciences, and it provides students with the opportunity to apply for college credit when they successfully complete select PLTW courses in high school and receive other college-level recognition at PLTW affiliate universities. PLTW has more than 40 affiliate college and university partners, including USC in South Carolina.
In order to remain competitive in the global marketplace, America needs to award 400,000 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) four-year degrees annually, according to a National Business Roundtable report put together by the Business-Higher Education Forum, Business Roundtable, Council on Competitiveness, Information Technology Association of America, Information Technology Industry Council, Minority Business RoundTable, National Association of Manufacturers, National Defense Industrial Association, Semiconductor Industry Association, Software & Information Industry Association, TechNet, Technology CEO Council, Telecommunications Industry Association and U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Currently, the U.S. is graduating only 265,000. PLTW is providing students with the skills, foundation and proven path to college and career success in STEM areas to increase the number of STEM graduates.
Leonard Williams principal of PCCTC said, “We’ve seen how the PLTW program draws more students into the biomedical sciences and gets them thinking about college and their careers. We are extremely proud to be PLTW certified and ecstatic that our students are eligible for college-level recognition, which may include college credit for select PLTW courses, scholarships and admissions preference.”
As part of the certification process, Williams and a team composed of teachers, staff, students, and members of the community submitted a self-assessment of the school’s implementation of PLTW’s Biomedical Sciences (BMS) program. A site visit by a national PLTW certification team followed. PLTW’s certification team met with teachers, school administrators, counselors, students and members of the school’s Partnership Team. A PLTW school’s Partnership Team (sometimes referred to as an Advisory Council) is comprised of teachers, counselors, administrators, post-secondary representatives, business and industry professionals, and other community members who actively support the PLTW program within a school.
Pickens County Career and Technology School should be congratulated for demonstrating its commitment to PLTW’s quality standards but the real winners are PCCTC students,” said PLTW CEO Vince Bertram. “Students benefit from PLTW’s innovative, project-based curriculum that encourages creativity, problem solving and critical thinking. We look forward to many more years of working together to prepare [school] students to become the most innovative and productive in the world.”
Teachers are a critical component of the success of the PLTW program. All teachers are required to complete an intensive two-week professional development course during the summer before they can teach a PLTW course. Students who enroll in PLTW courses also benefit from the organization’s strong university and industry relationships that allow students to begin working toward their college degrees and gain valuable experience through internships and through their association with local biomedical sciences professionals who serve as mentors, provide in-classroom visits and tours of their facilities. Clemson University, Clemson, SC
Janet Ayers added, “The beauty of PLTW courses is that our kids get to experience how a concept they learned in science applies to a real-world project. In class, there are no lectures – kids are exploring the concepts of human medicine, mapping and analyzing DNA and designing innovative solutions for the health challenges of the 21st century. That is the kind of hands-on experience that will engage more students in fields that they might otherwise never consider.”
For more information on PLTW, you may also contact Sheila Carmody at the national office at (518) 836-3353 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Project Lead The Way, Inc., a nonprofit organization with 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt status, is the leading provider of rigorous and innovative STEM education curricular programs used in schools. PLTW’s comprehensive curriculum has been collaboratively designed by PLTW teachers, university educators, engineering and biomedical professionals, and school administrators to promote critical thinking, creativity, innovation and real-world problem solving skills in students. The hands-on, project-based program engages students on multiple levels, exposes them to areas of study that they typically do not pursue, and provides them with a foundation and proven path to college and career success. More than 350,000 students in nearly 4,000 schools in 50 states plus Washington, D.C., are currently taking PLTW courses. For more information, visit www.pltw.org.