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Resources for Teachers

Overview

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.

Undergraduate Credit

Secondary school students from any PLTW-certified 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 $200 per course. Note: Effective January 1, 2015, the tuition charge for each course will be increased to $225

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 to schoolrelations@rit.edu,  at the end of the course.  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 $200 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-certified 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. 15 of that year. Students taking the exam in December or January have until the following Nov. 15 to apply.

Undergraduate RIT-PLTW Scholarships

RIT has established a merit scholarship program for PLTW students.  Freshman applicants with an SAT score of 1800 or higher (ACT 26) and B+ average who will complete two or more PLTW courses in high school are eligible to apply.  The scholarships are worth $7,000 per year and are renewable yearly.  Up to five new scholarships per year can be awarded.  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 undergraduate admission application and school transcripts by February 1. 

Minigrants

RIT grants certified 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 mid-April, 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.

School Certification

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 four 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.

  1. Provisional Certification – This level is for new schools that have a plan in place to offer at least four PLTW courses to their students within the first five 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 four-course implementation plan. Students from provisionally certified schools will have an opportunity to apply for RIT undergraduate credit.
  2. Full Certification – Schools that have implemented at least four 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.
Certification Fee

There is no fee for provisional certification review.  There is a $500 fee when site visits are conducted.

Deadline

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 schoolrelations@rit.edu for further information.

Grad Credit

RIT offers a graduate credit program for teachers who attend training at any of the PLTW Affiliate Universities, if they complete the additional projects, portfolios or exams required. Participants can earn four semester graduate credits for each course. The tuition for each course is $900.

Teachers can earn up to 20 PLTW credits towards the MS program and then transfer in an additional 6 semester credits from another accredited institution, leaving only 9 credits of required coursework to earn the MS in Professional Studies.  The credits are also eligible to be transferred to another university, (pending review and approval by that university).

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.