Response Due: March 1, 2008
February 11, 2008
To: Provosts & Vice Chancellors
From: Rebecca R. Martin
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Subject: Policy Recommendation for Project Lead the Way Courses
Project Lead the Way (PLTW) is an engineering and technology focused curriculum for middle and high schools that is now being offered in forty-nine states in the U.S. Currently in Wisconsin it is being offered in ninety high schools and thirty middle schools. As students, parents, and legislators have learned of this program, we are frequently asked how UW institutions will evaluate the work done as part of the program. This question has two aspects:
1) will UW institutions consider PLTW courses toward one or more of the 3 high school science units that are required for admission, and 2) will UW institutions offer advanced standing credit for these courses (as do some colleges and universities around the country).
To begin considering these questions, we recently asked a small group of Engineering Deans and faculty from UW institutions with colleges or programs in Engineering. It was the consensus of the group that the PLTW program is rigorous, has a common curriculum that is regularly reviewed and revised, has a national training and certification process, and has an established system for consistent testing and assessment of teachers and of student learning. They recommended that UW institutions accept PLTW high school courses as at least one of the three science units required for admission.
Based upon this input, I am writing to ask your campus to review the PLTW curriculum materials, and national exams, to let us know if your institution would be willing to count PLTW coursework for one or more of the three science units required for admission. I would very much appreciate your response via return e-mail to email@example.com by March 1, 2008.
The curriculum and other background materials are available on a password protected website: http://www.pltw-wi.org/index.html. This website was created to allow UW System institutions to evaluate the program. At the site you will have access to the full curriculum for each of the eight PLTW courses, a detailed outline of each course, and the most recent national college credit exam for each course (that currently has an exam). Also at the site are links to articulation agreements between the Milwaukee School of Engineering, Gateway Technical College of Racine, and the PLTW program.
To access the materials, click on "access the secure site".
Use the following Login and password:
With regard to the second aspect, having to do with granting advanced standing credit for PLTW coursework, I have asked Assistant Vice President Larry Rubin to convene a group of faculty and administrators to discuss the policy and process implications of doing so. Once I receive a recommendation from this group, I will be back in touch with you.
Please let me know if you have questions or concerns. Thank you for your help with this matter.
cc: Kevin Reilly, President
Larry Rubin, Assistant Vice President
Carmen Faymonville, Academic Planner
Janice Sheppard, Senior Academic Planner
G:\VPACAD\jrs\Admissions Issues\PLTW\PLTW policy recommendation.doc