At a Glance
Dr. Michael Herrera, Executive Director of Upper Bucks County Technical School (UBCTS), led the successful implementation of a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Micro-Credential for Career and Technical Education (CTE) educators. This initiative significantly reshaped CTE education, equipping educators, many from business and industry backgrounds, to support diverse learners, including a substantial number of students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and 504 plans.
Collaboration and Vision Realized:
In partnership with Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST )and NOCTI, Dr. Herrera utilized available funding resources to advance educational progress. Amanda Bastoni, Director of Career and Technical and Adult Education at CAST, is well known and respected for her expertise in pedagogical strategies and educational technology integration, which played a crucial role in this project. The collaboration aimed to provide educators with practical methodologies and evidence of their mastery of UDL principles, addressing the challenge of transitioning industry professionals into educational roles. Amanda Bastoni’s contributions significantly shaped the project, ensuring precision and innovation in achieving its goals.
Project Focus and Achievement:
The UDL Micro-Credential focused on UDL Guidelines, especially Checkpoint 8.1: Heightening the salience of goals and objectives. This was crucial in aiding learners to maintain effort and persistence. The project successfully provided CTE educators, administrators, and staff with materials and resources tailored to these specialized educational needs.
Engagement and Practical Application:
Over two years, the project conducted engaging and interactive learning sessions, teaching educators to design CTE curricula using the UDL framework. This approach ensured content accessibility and equity, catering to all students, notably the nearly 40% with IEPs and 504 plans.
- Kick-off and Keynote (August 24, 2022): This event marked the successful introduction of UDL in CTE, equipping educators with practical strategies for enhanced learner engagement and success.
- Series of 7 Sessions: These sessions comprehensively covered UDL in CTE, touching on various aspects such as engagement, representation, action & expression, special populations, and work-based learning.
- Sustainability Plan: Developed to continuously support and develop UDL at UBCTS.
- Micro-credential Completion: Successfully implemented the co-designed “Access and Equity” micro-credential focusing on UDL for special populations.
- Additional Offerings: Provided UBCTS educators with free access to Level 1 and Level 2 credentials in consecutive years.
Outcomes and Impact:
This initiative was crucial in developing, equipping, and sustaining a comprehensive UDL program at UBCTS, influencing CTE classrooms nationwide. It created an environment where educators effectively used UDL, promoting inclusive and practical learning. By the end of the year, all faculty will obtain the credential.
UBCTS’s best practice demonstrates the transformative impact of integrating UDL into educational curricula. The collaborative efforts with CAST and NOCTI highlight a commitment to enhancing educational outcomes for all learners, focusing on those transitioning from business and industry into education and students with diverse learning needs. UBCTS’s experience serves as a model for other districts and institutions aiming to incorporate UDL in their educational strategies.
Michael Herrera, Ed.D., Executive Director
Amanda Bastoni, Director Career Technical & Adult Education