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
Previous Comment     Next Comment     Back to List of Comments
11/6/15  12:40 pm
Commenter: Debra Shapiro, VA Technology & Engineering Education Assocation President

Opposition to Engineering Licensure

I am writing in regards to the proposed Engineering Endorsement. As a Technology and Engineering teacher for 29 years I am able to teach all of the material for each of our courses including those that are engineering. My degree not only included all of the “Technology Education” requirements but also included Physics, Chemistry, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Calculus. For someone to say that I do not have the understanding of those courses is absurd. I have also taken some engineering courses in my college career as I thought that may be the career path in which I was heading. Experience taught me differently.

In my years as an educator I have had the opportunity to complete internships at NASA, shadow workers in various fields including engineering, and attend workshops to update my skills and knowledge. Every one of us with a License in Technology Education completes course work and/or professional development to renew our license every five years. I guarantee many of those folks are taking classes to improve their skills and knowledge in the courses they are teaching, including engineering. The Virginia Technology and Engineering Education Association offers staff development for all Technology and Engineering educators as does the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association.

I have worked as a drafter in an engineering firm and was required to do all of the calculations and design that our engineers preformed. Yes, they checked behind me, I was rarely wrong. I had the knowledge base to perform these tasks. Many of our Technology and Engineering Educators have come from industry. They have the ability to teach as they earned their degree in Technology Education or went through a Career Switcher Program where they learned pedagogy. This same opportunity is available to all of the engineers that have a desire to teach engineering in Technology and Engineering Education. One does not need to be an engineer to teach engineering just as one does not need to be a chemist to teach chemistry.

As Technology and Engineering educators we do not teach “Trades” that is part of the Trade and Industrial program. This seems to be a misconception with the engineers that desire a new licensure. Yes, we can build, weld, operate machinery, work on computers and cars, etc. Many of those programs are housed in Career and Technical Centers with in our school systems but not at our schools.  Technology and Engineering Education is not a training ground for trades or any career. Technology and Engineering Education is an opportunity for students to explore Technology and Engineering.

My main concern in all of this is the fact that we have a shortage of Technology Education Teachers. If an Engineering Endorsement is going to be required to teach an engineering course you are going to further reduce the pool of teachers. I lost one of my student teachers to engineering a few years ago. He had a Technology Education degree. He has become a successful engineer. If we are losing Technology and Engineering Educators to engineering due to the financial benefits, how many engineers are going to want to teach for half of the salary they would make as an engineer?

Finally, our high schools are not the training grounds for any career. Careers are created in trade schools, colleges, and universities. Our high school students are exposed to enough engineering (and other career clusters) to decide if they are interested in the field. If the interest exist, those students will choose to go to college and complete a degree in engineering. 

The smartest thing would be for the Engineers and Technology and Engineering Educators to team up, work together and give the students the best of all of STEM...