Resources for Teachers
As the PLTW New York State Affiliate University RIT offers the following services to teachers:
- Professional development training in summer and winter
- Software, curriculum and equipment update training sessions
- Graduate credit for PLTW courses
- A master’s degree program for teachers for which five of their PLTW courses can be used.
In addition, a PLTW teacher’s students may have the opportunity to earn RIT undergraduate college credits for their PLTW courses; the school may receive mini-grants based on the number of students participating in the credit program; and the teacher may participate in the PLTW school certification process.
Secondary school students from any PLTW school may apply for RIT college credit for five of the PLTW courses:
- Introduction to Engineering Design/Design and Drawing for Production
- Principles of Engineering
- Computer Integrated Manufacturing
- Digital Electronics
- Civil Engineering and Architecture
To qualify for RIT credit, students must earn a stanine score of 6 or higher on the year-end exam (6=C; 7=B; 8 and above = A). Also, students must have an 85% or higher course grade.
For the students meeting those criteria, RIT awards three semester credits for each of the five courses at a discontinued rate of $225 per course.
An important benefit of having the credit is that admissions officers will see that the student has already been successful at college level work and this point could be factored in the university’s decision-making process.
The individual academic departments at RIT and other universities evaluate the acceptability of those credits in the same manner in which they evaluate and confer transfer credits. Applying for and receiving RIT credits for PLTW courses does not guarantee that those credits will be accepted in every individual academic program at RIT. The credits are eligible to be transferred to other universities that, also, make independent decisions on which transfer credits to accept.
Undergraduate Credit Process
In spring, the school’s primary PLTW contact will receive an electronic copy of the parents letter with a link to the online RIT college credit registration form. The letter should be distributed to qualifying students.
The RIT grade that a student will receive is based solely on the end-of-the-year assessment stanine score. A stanine of 6 will equal a C; 7 will equal a B; 8 and 9 will equal an A. It is important for teachers to tell their students what their stanine/grade will be for RIT credit. The parents letter will also detail how the stanines translate into letter grades.
Each teacher/school must email their qualifying students’ course grades and stanine scores using the Grade Report Template to email@example.com, by July 1. Privacy laws do not allow PLTW’s assessment company to share its data. RIT will keep this information confidential and it will not be shared.
Students applying for RIT credit complete the registration form and send it along with a $225 check to the address listed. They are then “enrolled” in the current RIT semester. At the end of the semester, students receive a transcript.
As students prepare to submit college applications, they should request a free transcript showing their college credits. A transcript request form can be downloaded from here.
If a former PLTW student attends RIT, the letter (A, B, C) grade received from RIT is counted towards his/her RIT grade point average. If the student goes to another university, the credits are usually transferred without a letter grade.
Since these students are receiving college credit for college-level work, there are certain rules that must be followed by every PLTW school to ensure the integrity of the exam and process:
- Students must take the exam immediately at the conclusion of the course.
- All exams must be given prior to June 30 of each calendar year for students completing the course that year.
- Students taking the exam in the spring must apply for and pay for RIT credit prior to Nov. 2 of that year. Students taking the exam in December or January have until the following Nov. 2 to apply.
- If a student is graduation in 2016 or applying for early acceptance at colleges it is recommended that the registration form/payment be sent in by July 15.
Undergraduate RIT-PLTW Scholarships
RIT has established a merit scholarship program for PLTW students. This is awarded to outstanding admitted freshman who have completed 2 or more PLTW courses. The RIT/PLTW Scholarship cannot be combined with other RIT merit scholarships.
Interested students must submit a letter of recommendation from a PLTW teacher along with the RIT admission application and school transcripts by January 15. For additional information on available scholarships visit the financial aid website.
RIT grants schools $20 for each student who registers for RIT college credit.
Schools who have participated in RIT’s undergraduate credit program previously do not have to take any action to receive the grant. The student tallies are compiled after January by the RIT/PLTW School Relations staff.
Schools who are new to the RIT undergraduate credit program will be contacted to submit a W-9 form prior to payment.
In May the primary PLTW contacts from certified schools will receive a check reflecting the $20 per registered student (between January and December). These grants are intended to be earmarked for use in the school’s PLTW program.
This process is under review and revision by PLTW. Until those changes are announced (2014), the following process is used by RIT.
A school wishing to become certified and thus eligible to offer their courses for RIT undergraduate credit, must demonstrate they have a plan to implement a minimum of three courses. The certification process requires schools to demonstrate that they meet PLTW’s quality standards in professional development of teachers and counselors; the implementation of curriculum using required equipment and software; the formation of a Partnership Team; and the participation in PLTW’s assessment endeavors. In addition, schools must adhere to the counselor training provisions as outlined in PLTW’s requirements document.
In New York State, there are two levels of certification overseen by RIT.
- Provisional Certification – This level is for new schools that have a plan in place to offer at least three or more PLTW courses to their students within the first four years of PLTW implementation. RIT will contact schools in their first year with information about the requirements. Schools wishing to be considered for provisional certification will complete a self-assessment and present its three-course implementation plan. Students from provisionally certified schools will have an opportunity to apply for RIT undergraduate credit.
- Full Certification – Schools that have implemented at least three PLTW courses will complete a self-assessment and then will be visited by a certification reviewer. If the school is meeting all the requirements, it will be designated as fully certified.
There is no fee for provisional certification review. There is a $500 fee when site visits are conducted.
All steps in the certification process must be completed prior to May 1 of each school year.
All the certification documents can be viewed here. Scroll down the page to #2, under ‘Steps to Certification.’
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
RIT Offers a graduate credit program for teachers who attend training at RIT upon completion of the additional projects, portfolios or exams required. This winter, courses that are eligible for Graduate Credit are: IED, POE and DE. Participants can earn four semester graduate credits for each course. The tuition for each course is $900.
Teachers who attend PLTW Core Training may also earn a master’s degree through RIT’s School of Individualized Study by applying up to 5 (20 credits) of their PLTW courses, completing two required courses (total of 6 credits) and either taking an additional 9 credits from RIT or transferring those credits from any accredited university to satisfy the 35-credit requirement. These graduate credits can be applied to RIT’s Master of Science in Professional Studies program.
Only the PLTW courses are offered at the $900 per course tuition. Any other RIT courses needed for the degree are charged the current RIT graduate tuition rate.
If you are interested in graduate credit, note the below steps:
- On the first or second day of instruction, the Master Teacher for your course will discuss the specific additional requirements you will have to fulfill for the graduate credit.
- If you wish to proceed with the credit option, you must turn in a Graduate Student Registration Form, along with a $900 check, payable to RIT, to Deborah Cooper in the PLTW office by 4 p.m. the day before the exam is to be given.
- A check or money order is the only accepted means of payment.
- Each course has specific final assessment tools for graduate credit – they are outlined in the graduate credit materials.