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Program Certification

PLTW Certification


  • PLTW Program Certification documents and Primary Information

Visit the PLTW program quality page at PLTW Program Quality 

  • What are the benefits of earning National Certification?

High school students completing a four-course PLTW sequence at a certified high school have access to engineering college credit at the Affiliate Universities nationwide, according to the terms and conditions of each individual credit process at each affiliate university.  In Kentucky, the University of Kentucky awards the college credit via the special examination process .

Additionally, certified high schools meet the quality standards established by PLTW and the Affiliate University insuring that the rigor and relevance of the curriculum is maintained statewide

  • Why would a school obtain certification?

The PLTW School District Agreement indicates that a school will seek certification during the second year of implementation.  In Kentucky, many schools implement PLTW over a four-year period, offering one additional course per year.  The certification process is flexible allowing schools the latitude to develop an implementation plan over multiple years so that certification may be achieved in the second year.

  •  What are the requirements for Certification?

Briefly, the requirements are trained teachers and at least one trained counselor; an offering of a four-course sequence, or plan to offer the sequence (a minimum of the first three courses actively being offered and taught is required); an Industry Partnership Team; and a pipeline of students to fill the upper level courses.  If the district demonstrates a plan to offer all four courses, then Provisional Certification will be awarded for up to 2 years.  To upgrade Provisional Certification to Full Certification requires copies of the Core Training Completion Certificate(s) and material purchase orders for the missing courses presented to the Affiliate Director for approval.  At the end of two years, the Provisional Certification will be revoked.  The Certification Process for the Biomedical Sciences program is analogous, with the exception of the fact that there are a maximum of 4 courses in the BMS program.  Further, the Certification Process for BOTH programs requires schools to adhere to the terms and conditions of the School District Agreement and/or the STEM Agreement, as appropriate for each district.

The Biomedical Sciences sequence includes implementing all four biomedical courses.  The required Pathway to Engineering sequence includes the two PLTW Foundation Courses:  Introduction to Engineering Design (IED) and Principles of Engineering (POE); plus two additional Specialization Course.

  • How does the Industry Partnership team serve PLTW schools?

Industry Partnership Teams can serve schools in several primary ways:

  1. Listen to and critique student presentations regarding their designs / projects
  2. Provide opportunities for educating students regarding any STEM work in their local area (think local KTC staff, local utility company staff, any local or nearby KY society of professional engineers member or construction company, for example)
  3. Provide used equipment / materials for the classroom, in addition to any potential funding for the projects
  4. Provide opportunities for students to work during the summertime provided the students are 16
  5. Provide the economic development partnership necessary to apply for grant money from the local Workforce Investment Board (requests for applications should be available soon)
  • Does certification affect both the Biomedical Sciences curriculum and the Pathway to Engineering curriculum?

Each program is certified separately, due to the different academic credit awarded by the Affiliate Universities for each curriculum pathway.  Therefore, if a school offers both programs, a school potentially could earn two certifications.

  •  Other questions?

Contact the Project Lead The Way office at the University of Kentucky College of Engineering via info@pltwky.org .