Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Agency
Department of Education
Board
State Board of Education
chapter
Regulations Governing the Review and Approval of Education Programs in Virginia [8 VAC 20 ‑ 542]
Action Comprehensive Revision of the Regulations Governing the Review and Approval of Education Programs in
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ends 10/31/2015
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10/27/15  2:24 pm
Commenter: Philip A. Reed

Proposed Engineering Program Regulations
 

I am the program coordinator for a Virginia approved, nationally accredited technology teacher preparation program at a STEM intensive research university. I initially spoke to the Board of Education (BOE) and the Advisory Board on Teacher Education and Licensure (ABTEL) in 2014 regarding key clarifications of K-12 technology and engineering education at the state and national levels. The documents I cited form the foundation for Virginia's technology education program and include:

  • Garmire, E. & Pearson, G. (Editors). (2006). Tech Tally: Approaches to Assessing Technological Literacy. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press. http://www.nap.edu

  • International Technology & Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA). (2000,2002,2007). Standards for Technological Literacy: Content for the Study of Technology. Reston, VA: Author. http://www.iteea.org

  • Katehi, L., Pearson, G., & Feder, M. (Editors). (2009). Engineering in K-12 Education: Understanding the Status and Improving the Prospects. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press. http://www.nap.edu

  • National Academy of Engineering. (2010). Standards for K-12 Engineering Education? Washington, DC: National Academies Press. http://www.nap.edu

  • Pearson, G. & Young, A. T. (Editors). (2002). Technically Speaking: Why all Americans Need to Know more about Technology. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. http://www.nap.edu

Technology education program information on the Virginia Department of Education’s website (http://www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/career_technical/technology/index.shtml) as well as the Virginia CTE Resource Center website (http://cteresource.org/about/) demonstrate that the program is aligned to national trends in K-12 technology and engineering education. In fact, some states (e.g. Missouri) and professional organizations (e.g. ITEEA, CTETE, VTEEA) use the term technology and engineering education. A separate engineering education program in Virginia is not needed because the Virginia model covers technology and engineering education… but the name has not been changed to reflect this. There are additional issues and confounding questions with the proposed engineering program in the Regulations Governing the Review and Approval of Education Programs in Virginia [8 VAC 20 - 542].

If the goal of the proposed engineering program is to get more students to enter engineering then, by definition, that is career and technical education. Such a program already exists in technology education and engineers already have a pathway to Virginia licensure through technology education (see 8VAC20-23-270. Career and technical education - technology education). Engineering (especially engineering design as outlined in Standards for Technological Literacy and the Next Generation Science Standards) is an integral part of Virginia’s technology education program. The technology education program in Virginia is improved through existing channels such as the curriculum revision schedule and DACUM panels used annually by the Department of Education's Office of Career and Technical Education. These processes involve engineers and other professionals. Engineers wishing to improve the technology and engineering education program in Virginia should collaborate with the VTEEA and the Department of Education's Office of Career and Technical Education rather than propose a full program duplication through back doors. If the new engineering program regulations are approved, will the state start fracturing all programs by specific professions?