A counselor’s perspective PREPARING FOR A PLTW SITE VISIT: Lisa Woodrum and Ann HermanFrancis Howell North High School
PLTW at FHSD • What are students and teachers saying? • “I’ve learned a lot about computers.” • “I love all the fun activities that we do.” • “Kids are really excited about the curriculum.” • “I have kids that are meeting me at the door when I unlock the door in the morning.” • “I think I will be really prepared compared to other kids next year (in college).” http://www.schooltube.com/video/a1b51579ba3e1cac9909/FHSD-PLTW
PLTW and the Professional School Counselor Professional School Counselors (PSC’s) play an integral role in the PLTW certification process. How can PSC’s at your school contribute to the certification process? • What should PSC’s focus on throughout the three-year certification process? • What can PSC’s expect during the site visit? • How can PSC’s continue to support the PLTW program after certification?
PSC’s Role: An Overview • Provide Education about PLTW • Educate Others • Attend PLTW Conferences • Educate Self • PLTW Partnership Team • Collaborate with Community
Provide Education about PLTW The counselor helps to educate students, staff, and the community about the PLTW program. • PLTW website • Provide informational brochures and other marketing materials • Add PLTW information to course catalog and website • Host STEM-related guest speakers and activities • Share PLTW information with middle school students • Spend time in PLTW classroom
Attend PLTW Conferences The PLTW certification process requires that at least one counselor attends a PLTW conference annually. • Counselor conferences are designed to provide information about PLTW programs and student recruitment • Typically take place in the Fall and are hosted by PLTW University Affiliates • Appropriate for counselors, post-secondary advisors, administrators, teachers
Be Actively Engaged in the PLTW Partnership Team A Partnership Team supports the program and meets on a regular basis with a specific agenda and goals to accomplish. • Membership should include at least one counselor, site and district level administrators, persons working in diverse business, industry, and education roles. • Collaboration with counselors helps ensure that the team’s goals are consistent with the academic and career planning needs of students.
The PLTW Site Visit: An Overview • The PLTW certification team visits PLTW classroom(s) to observe students work, interview students, and check the equipment. • The PLTW certification team visits with school counselors and PLTW teachers. • The PLTW certification team visits with the Partnership Team.
PSC’s Role During the Site Visit PSC’s will be interviewed without administrators or PLTW teachers present. • Classroom experience • Program promotion and student invitation • Diversity of student population • Knowledge of middle school PLTW program • Understanding of engineering in today’s local and global society
Interview Questions to Consider:Professional Development • Have you attended a PLTW conference? • Have you been on the PLTW website to get information? • Describe how you think the PLTW program fits into the overall school?
Interview Questions to Consider:Students • How are students identified for the PLTW program? • What strategies have you used to recruit girls and underrepresented minorities into the program? • Describe how girls and underrepresented minorities are supported and/or encouraged to be comfortable and successful in the program. • How would you describe the PLTW program to parents who are considering it for their son or daughter? • What kinds of extra help are available to those students who struggle in PLTW and other academic classes? • What would you consider the most challenging aspect in recruiting and retaining students into the program?
Interview Questions to Consider:Post-Secondary • What role do you take in helping student develop a four-year plan of study? Post-secondary plan of study? • How do you involve parents in the guidance/advisement process? • How does the career planning process address the student’s career aspirations? • How do you use data to help develop a program of study? • How do you help students see the relationship between the courses they take and their future plans? • What dual credit or post secondary articulation opportunities are available to the students?
PSC’s Continued Support After Certification How will PSC’s in your school provide ongoing support of the PLTW program? • Utilize MAP, Explore scores to invite students to experience PLTW intro course • Facilitate high school students visiting middle schools annually • Describe the PLTW classroom experience to students and families • Connect college/career pathways to PLTW courses
PLTW and Diversity: The Facts • PLTW programs are distributed across the entire economic spectrum including the least affluent schools. • The vast majority of PLTW programs need to add or subtract only one or two students from any race/ethnic group to achieve proportional representation. • The biomedical sciences curriculum enrolls about 70% female students. • Females make up nearly 24% of all PLTW students. Source: PLTW Student Outcomes Fact Sheet http://www.pltw.org/sites/default/files/PLTW%20Student%20Outcomes_1.pdf
Examine Diversity in Your School Does your school’s PLTW program enrollment reflect your school’s diversity? Collaborate with teachers and administrators to develop a plan for improving the diversity of your school’s PLTW program. • Extracurricular activities showcasing their designs • Students and guest speakers presenting to eighth grade students • Personal invitations
PLTW and Gender Equity: Retention Is Not The Problem • Women earn over half of all bachelor’s degrees, but only about 20% of degrees in engineering. • Women who enter engineering programs earn degrees at rates equal to or higher than those for men. • Civil, environmental, and chemical engineering are among the disciplines in which women are more likely to complete their studies than male students. Recruitment, not retention, is the problem! Cohen, C., & Deterding, N. (2009). Widening the net: National estimates of gender disparities in education. Journal of Engineering Education, July, 211-226.
PLTW and Gender Equity:Early Career Education is Key • Engineering topics and objectives should be explicitly incorporated into K-12 standards, curriculum, and testing • Robotics and other STEM activities should actively recruit females at the middle school level • Students need a better understanding of the many paths to engineering • Invite female students with strong math/science ability to consider a PLTW course in 9thgrade • Provide information about STEM experiences within the community • Missouri S & T, Saint Louis University, and Washington University sponsor engineering summer camps for females • Females often show an interest in helping others • Students already know engineers build skyscrapers and bridges • Do they know that engineers also design prosthetic limbs, dental implants, accessibility devices for persons with disabilities?
PLTW and Connection to Common Core Throughout PLTW, students learn and apply the design process, acquire strong teamwork and communication proficiency, and develop organizational, critical-thinking, and problem-solving skills • PLTW provides real life experiences to students • This approach mirrors the Common Core curriculum
Final Thoughts for Counselors • Partner with PLTW teachers • Learn about the program and be engaged in the certification process • Be creative in recruiting females and underrepresented minorities • The site visit interview is an opportunity to collaborate and highlight the vital role of counselors in the certification process
Questions? Lisa Woodrum Professional School Counselor Counseling Department Chairperson Francis Howell North High School Lisa.Woodrum@fhsdschools.org Ann Herman Professional School Counselor Francis Howell North High School Ann.Herman@fhsdschools.org