Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Education
State Board of Education
Licensure Regulations for School Personnel [8 VAC 20 ‑ 22]
Action Comprehensive Revision of the Licensure Regulations for School Personnel
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ends 11/6/2015
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10/28/15  4:13 pm
Commenter: Kenneth Noonan - Chesterfield County Public Schools

Engineering Endorsement

Hello, my name in Kenneth Noonan and I have been teaching Technology Education at both the Middle School and High School levels for 14 years. I currently teach Middle School Pre-Engineering Courses and am my school’s Activities Director. My current certifications are in Technology Education and Administration and Supervision K-12.  I work in Chesterfield County which is one of the largest school systems in the state and serve on the county STEAM committee which is working to enhance and bridge our curriculum to make our students more able to apply STEAM problem solving to real world issues and problems.  I am also an officer of the Virginia Technology and Engineering Education Association and member of the International Technology and Engineering Education Association and the Virginia Children’s Engineering Council

Requiring a separate endorsement to teach Engineering Courses will not solve the proposed issue. Teachers with the Technology Education endorsement are already versed in teaching the Engineering Design Process, Materials Properties, Modeling and Simulation, Cross Curricular Application of Science and Mathematics, CAD Applications, CNC Applications, Coding, etc. Students enrolled in CTE courses coded to Technology Education are already learning and applying engineering concepts.

Requiring a separate endorsement for Engineering will create a larger disparity in an area that is already experiencing a critical shortage of teachers. The better solution would be to offer more incentives to entice more qualified teacher candidates into the field and into teacher preparation programs. The issue is not about the current teachers that we have, it is about not having enough teachers to provide solid Technology and Engineering instruction. Engineers create new Technology. Technology Education’s main focus is on that fact. We teach how to create innovative solutions to problems through design and application. We are not the enemy to engineering. We are the product of engineering and one in the same. We already have strong State and National relationships with Science and Math Education. Requiring a new, separate Engineering endorsement is reinventing a wheel that is already working. That is not smart engineering. This endorsement is separating in nature and not collaborative.

I have personally been involved with rewriting the curriculum for Technology Education courses to increase rigor and relevance to better fit the modern world and educational setting. I love engineering and so do my students. That is why they are in my class. They like to be challenged and using the Engineering Design Process to solve problems. There are a ton of excellent Engineering classes across the state learning solid engineering foundations. I am sure there are classes out there not doing what they are supposed to as well. A smarter solution than wiping the field clean with a separate endorsement would be to pinpoint with precision the weaker programs and bring them up to par. Make sure teachers are getting the professional development to stay current and relevant. My class curriculum changes every year as it should since Technology and Engineering’s job is to make changes to solve problems.

Instead of building a new table with the Engineering endorsement I would like to invite everyone to the existing Technology Education table to break bread and work towards making our curriculum the strongest it can be. The time and resources being utilized in this argument would be better served collaborating together. United we stand, divided we fall.