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/Solid Modeling
- Principles of Engineering
- Computer Integrated Manufacturing
- Digital Electronics
- Civil Engineering and Architecture
RIT requires these students to receive at least an 85 percent average in the course and score 70 or above on the college credit exam (70-79=C, 80-89=B, 90 and above is an A). For the students meeting those criteria, RIT awards four-quarter credits for each of the five courses, and the cost is $200 per course.
RIT's academic departments 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 individual academic programs at RIT. All RIT colleges should be able to accept up to three PLTW courses as ‘free electives’ in addition to any they might accept as direct course replacements.
When secondary school students receive RIT college credit for PLTW courses, a transcript is developed for them. This transcript shows the RIT-equivalent course name and number. If a former-PLTW student enters RIT, the letter grade he received for the high school course is counted towards his GPA. If the student goes to another university, the four credits are considered ‘transfer’ with no 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:
- The final course exam must be given exactly as it is written by RIT Affiliate Professors and PLTW Master Teachers.
- 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 have until the following Nov. 15 to apply.
- Teachers should use the grade report template to electronically send their students’ grades prior to leaving for the school year. Otherwise, if students apply for credit and RIT does not have a grade for them, the students receive an “Incomplete” on their grade reports.
These rules are in place to ensure that the college credit process is handled equally in all PLTW-certified schools, that all the students are tested based on the same curriculum and exam questions, and that those students receive credit based on the curriculum and knowledge in place at the time the course is taken.
Several actions are not acceptable in the college credit process:
- Exams may not be altered in any way. RIT will periodically require that the graded exams be submitted for review.
- Students cannot decide later in their high school career that they want to receive credit for courses taken in previous years.
- Teachers may not tutor their students after they have completed the course or give the exam after a tutoring period.
- Current exams may not be used for review in the classroom. PLTW provides previous exams for the review process.