At a Glance
At Greene County Career and Technology Center, a group of teachers and the administrative director implemented an SREB enhanced CTE project that engaged students and provided them with a meaningful learning experience.
A team of three instructors and the administrative director of Greene County Career and Technology Center (Greene County CTC) participated in a Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) enhanced CTE project. The instructors attended the workshop and then developed a project. SREB enhanced CTE projects are intended to increase the rigor and relevance of CTE learning. The projects integrate academic content, address Program of Study (POS) tasks, and also cover NOCTI content. They are designed to engage students and help them develop a deeper understanding of the content.
Mark Krupa, the Building Construction Occupations instructor, developed an enhanced CTE project titled “High and Dry.” He designed it to lead students on a pathway of research-driven learning through authentic workplace related activities and projects. The project required students to design, build, and test the ability of a foundation to repel water and meet the client’s building criteria. Steps in the process included researching and testing traditional concrete block masonry units and comparing them with newer and more innovative building techniques. After designing, building, and testing their foundation walls, the students had to produce a summary report of their findings. The group participants were asked to give a short but informative presentation about the project upon completion.
Mr. Krupa shared the project with his Greene County CTC colleagues during a faculty meeting. After reflecting on the successes and challenges of the project, he revised it and then taught it again the following year.
Origin / Implementation
The school administrators and instructors decided to implement an enhanced CTE project in order to engage students in relevant and rigorous learning activities that resulted in a deep understanding of the content taught.
The instructors received training by attending SREB workshops offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s CTE Technical Assistance Program (TAP). The group collaborated to apply the concepts they learned from the training and develop an enhanced CTE project that would improve student learning and motivation during the 2013-2014 school year.
Results / Impact
The Building Construction Occupations instructor reported that the enhanced CTE project improved student learning, motivation, and engagement. He stated that students developed a deeper and more thorough understanding of the concepts. The project became a friendly competition for his students who spent more time and energy demonstrating learning outcomes than in any other manner that the teacher had delivered the curriculum content in the past. The motivation for learning came from the students themselves rather than from the teacher. He also noted that students took greater responsibility for their own learning while participating in the project.
Due to the success of the project, the instructor has developed an additional enhanced CTE project to cover most of the curriculum and POS tasks. He expects that enhanced CTE projects will continue to lead to higher levels of student achievement, engagement and motivation, as well as more student ownership for learning.
Greene County Career and Technology Center
Mark Krupa, Building Construction Occupations Teacher