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Oklahoma CareerTech courses approved for academic credit

July 10, 2015

Oklahoma students have more options now for gaining math and science academic credits on their high school transcripts.

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education recently received approval to count several Project Lead The Way courses as math and science academic credits in the Achieving Classroom Excellence College Preparatory/Work Ready Curriculum and the Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship program.

 “This is huge for our students,” said Tommi Leach, ODCTE academic coordinator. “This means our students could possibly have six math credits or eight science credits on their transcripts as opposed to four math, four science and the rest electives. What college in the country isn’t going to notice the difference?

“And counting these courses as math and science credit also gives our students a competitive edge when it comes to scholarships.”

More than 7,000 students are enrolled in Oklahoma CareerTech’s 29 pre-engineering and 25 biomedical academies across the state.

“Most of our pre-engineering students are already on track to complete four years of math and four years of science in high school. This approval allows the students to add another math and/or science credit to their high school transcript,” said Karen Bailey, director of academic affairs at Great Plains Technology Center.

Courses that were approved for academic credit are digital electronics (math); principles of biomedical science, human body systems, biomedical innovations, medical interventions, biotechnical engineering and aerospace engineering (science); and computer integrated manufacturing and computer science and software engineering (computer education).

“For the identified Project Lead the Way courses to count for academic credit is a huge recognition of the content and rigor contained in these courses,” Bailey said. “For example, we have long recognized the amount of math covered in digital electronics. To have the academic rigor of DE endorsed is giving the student credit for having accomplished a difficult, math-content-rich course.”

Teachers of the courses must meet certification requirements to count the courses for academic credit.

The approval is a result of cooperation among ODCTE, the Oklahoma State Department of Education and the Oklahoma State Regents of Higher Education.

“This provides more opportunities for students, and we look forward to continuing our work with our educational partners to increase the academic credits available to students through CareerTech STEM offerings,” said Marcie Mack, Oklahoma CareerTech state director.

In addition to counting as academic credit on the ACE College Prep/Work Ready Curriculum, the courses will count for Oklahoma’s Promise, a program that helps pay for college education for children from families with incomes less than $50,000.

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources and assures standards of excellence for a comprehensive statewide system of career and technology education. The system offers programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 59 campuses, 393 comprehensive school districts and 13 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities.

The agency is governed by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and works closely with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education to provide a seamless educational system for all Oklahomans.

Laura Wilson, Writer/Editor

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