Washington State breakthrough

project management for high school students

Founder and Chairman, RPM Systems Corporation

Jim Noeldner, MBA

Director Career and Technical Education (Ret.), Jim Noeldner Consulting

Abstract

The paper explains the implementation of a project management curriculum in high schools across the State of Washington at “warp speed.” How, in less than one year, the state went from conducting a one-semester pilot class to authorizing a two-year project management curriculum statewide and training over two dozen teachers to teach project management will be discussed; frameworks, best practices, and lessons learned will be presented.

Do not confine your students to your own learning,
for they were born in a different time. (Classic Quotes, 2010, #34520)

-      Old Hebrew Saying

Liftoff

On the drive down to the state capitol in Olympia, Steve Garfein and Jim Noeldner could crack the windows and take their first deep breaths of spring in Washington. Soon to be retired from education as the Director of Career and Technical Education (CTE) in the North Kitsap School District, Jim was eager to facilitate the upcoming conversation between CTE leadership from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and his recently new-found friend, Steve Garfein, who, only weeks ago, started a pilot class teaching project management to high school students at North Kitsap High School.

Even though he had an MBA from Darden (at the University of Virginia) from a previous career, Jim had been focused on high school education for twenty years, and was unaware of the pervasive growth in the importance of project management in business during the last few decades and the international recognition of standards and certifications through Project Management Institute (PMI)®. Steve, a lifelong warrior in the world of project, program and portfolio management, had scars to show the importance of knowing the principles of project management as a life skill, a job skill, and even a certificated career option; but Steve, meeting Jim only weeks before, knew nothing about the world of career and technical education in secondary schools.

The fresh introduction of these two individuals, experienced in successful operations within their respective worlds, led to their realization that an existing need for project management education could be best met by the hands-on, project-based learning in CTE. That recognition led Jim to promptly arrange for a meeting with CTE leadership at OSPI. Surely, they too would see this need and the related answer. The Japanese have a saying, that “when the student is ready, the teacher will come.” The pent-up need seemed obvious, and the natural answer seemed clear…start an approved curriculum framework in project management for the state of Washington. But was the educational leadership of Washington ready to listen?

Although Betty Klattenhoff, state Director of CTE, had arranged to have the Business Program Pathway Supervisor, Venetia Willis-Holbrook join in the meeting, Jim's familiarity with the other Program Pathway Supervisors (Tech Ed, Ag, Family/Consumer Science) and the new state STEM Supervisor prompted him to gather those individuals as well, as they all headed to the conference room. After all, project management is valuable in all CTE areas—from pre-engineering and Ag production to hospitality/event planning, robotics, IT, and so forth.

Steve and Jim began to explain what they were doing with the pilot class and why. As they began to present their notion that, not only should project management be included in every CTE program of study, but that there is also a need for a stand-alone class in PMforCTE in Washington, Betty interrupted them: “One of the things on our list of things to do has been starting a class in project management. You and your ideas are in the right place at the right time. We want to work with you to help make this happen.”

Liftoff very quickly became warp speed.

Introduction

This white paper is written in a chronological, story format. It is the hope of the authors that, as you travel with us through the implementation of a project management curriculum in the state of Washington at “warp speed,” you will come away with ideas that will help you further project management education in primary, middle, and secondary schools, along with the appropriate teacher education for those grade levels.

In February of 2010, a semester-long course in project management for high school students, grades 9 to 12, was piloted at North Kitsap High School in the State of Washington. Within six weeks of beginning the pilot course, the curriculum was brought to the attention of the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). OSPI asked the co-authors of this paper to prepare a curriculum framework for a full two-year high school program in project management and to form an industry advisory committee to help tailor the draft curriculum framework to support industry requirements. Just 10 months later, OSPI published a CIP Code (CIP, Classification of Instructional Program) for an approved program in project management for the state of Washington. This officially made the curriculum available state-wide.

During the summer of 2010, in preparation for the rollout of the CIP code, the co-authors of this paper were asked by OSPI to present the curriculum framework at two seminars for career and technical education teachers (CTE) at the Washington Association of Career and Technical Educators’ summer conference. The conference was to be followed by a two-day workshop to begin training CTE teachers in project management. Logistical reasons forced the cancellation of that workshop. In its place OSPI, WAACTE and the authors decided that it would be far better to conduct teacher training in a live, online environment in order to better serve teachers across the state. A 23-hour teacher training course was begun in November 2010, using GoToTraining software. Two dozen teachers enrolled in this online course. Upon completion of the course, teachers received 23 “clock hours” toward their salary schedule advancement and meeting the educational hour requirement to sit for the CAPM® exam.

Summary of Key Assumptions and Findings

Schools universally introduce individual and group projects as part of instructional methodology, with little formalized training for students in managing those projects. Students pick up learning about project management along the way, often from teachers who also learned about managing projects “along the way” in their own education. Deliberately teaching project management as a life skill, a job skill, and a possible certificated career option fills a large need in public schools.

Using the vocabulary, processes, and standards of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) at the earliest stages of student learning promotes international commonality in business/industry project management. In addition, it assures that students do not have to re-learn vocabulary and processes that have been informally picked up during their education in order to prepare for PMI certification exams.

Building the educational process around progressive, articulated Programs of Study is a fundamental requirement of Federal Perkins funding for Career and Technical Education at secondary and post-secondary schools, as well as a clearly logical tenet of the educational process. Early learning in project management basics must not only use the vocabulary and standards of the PMBOK® Guide, but a sequence in learning project management that has begun with basic principles needs to be continued in progressive elaboration of learning detail to assure the connection of the student learning continuum up to CAPM® certification assessment and eventually PMP® and other valuable credentials.

Every CTE class is built around project-based learning, yet there is little formalized or standardized project management training in CTE teacher preparation.

High school students are quite able to learn and apply the standards of project management well before the usual introduction of project management learning at the college level, which means that not only should project management be taught as a life skill or as part of every CTE class, it can also be taught as a stand-alone class at the secondary level.

Every secondary student organization (club, class officers, Associated Student Body, FFA, FBLA, and so forth) includes projects like fundraisers and community service projects, but there is little or no organized training in managing projects for students either through their organizations or by their teacher/advisors.

The standard model of bringing project management professionals into the high school classroom to teach project management by taking over two days of curriculum (more or less) for a number of weeks cannot work in today's high schools; there are no courses that can give up that amount of curriculum time to an outside organization. Today's high school student learns best by doing, not through lecture…!!

Abbreviations Used in this Document

ACTE Association of Career and Technical Education (National)
CAPM® Certified Associate in Project Management
CTE Career and Technical Education
NKSD North Kitsap School District
NKHS North Kitsap High School
OSPI Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction
PMforCTE Project Management for Career and Technical Education
PMI® Project Management Institute
PMIEF Project Management Institute Educational Foundation
PMP® Project Management Professional
STEM Science, Technology, Engineering, Math
WA ACTE Washington Association of Career and Technical Education (State)

Prelude: November 2009 PMI® Global Congress, Orlando, Florida, USA

In late October of 2009, PMI held its annual Congress in Orlando, Florida, USA. The PMIEF had a booth at the Congress. It was at that booth that Steve Garfein, PMP and a member of both PMI and the Poulsbo Rotary Club, met Lew Gedansky and Diane Fromm who told Steve about the project management education program PMIEF had developed to support project-based learning and the teaching of project management fundamentals in schools.

Poulsbo Rotary: Deciding to Go for It

Upon returning to Poulsbo, a short ferry ride across Puget Sound from Seattle, Steve brought up the idea of teaching project management at the secondary school level to his Rotary Club, which included a number of members who strongly agreed that students needed project management as a life skill and a job skill. Two of the members were also local school district administrators.

Steve discussed the idea with Rick Jones, NKSD Superintendent, and Kathy Prasch, NKHS principal. The idea was well received by Rick and Kathy. It was decided to explore teaching project management beginning in February of 2010 at the start of the new semester. Jim Noeldner, NKSD CTE Director, was added to the team to lead the implementation. With no existing CTE courses able to give up several dozen class meetings to learning project management, it was determined to pilot it in a class called “Student Leadership” with no specific or state-required curriculum, but with a strong emphasis on learning the elements of project management as they “went along” as part of learning to be a student leader.

Once the decision to proceed was made, a classroom teacher was assigned to the project, Doris Ahrens, a CTE teacher and ASB advisor. Volunteer Rotarians from the local community with extensive project management experience were recruited to help teach the pilot course.

North Kitsap High School

Pilot Class, North Kitsap High School, Spring 2010

PMBOK® Guides were obtained to be used as reference texts. Desktop computers were brought into the classroom as needed by student teams who would be creating PowerPoint presentations incorporating Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, and Microsoft Project schedules. Rotarian guest teachers brought in their experiences, models, diagrams, and anecdotes to show students how project management worked in business and industry and the importance of following the project management principles embedded in the 9 x 5 matrix of Process Groups and Knowledge Areas.

Two Phases of Class Project

In keeping with our primary teaching method of Learn by Doing, students learned about project management processes and knowledge areas as they did research on planning a trip to New York City and Washington, DC. At midterm, each team presented its project management learning and trip research. Next, project managers were selected for the second half of the semester; they in turn selected new team members for a competition between seven team “travel agencies” vying for the trip contract. These seven newly constituted teams then prepared presentations applying the project management processes and knowledge areas to their trip proposals. It was a source selection competition between “agency” teams as evaluated by Rotarian judges.

Phase I, First Half of Semester: Subject Matter Experts and PMI Exposure

During the first half of the semester, the students were divided into seven teams (Exhibit 1). Learning the rigor of the nine Knowledge Areas and teaching them to each other, these initial teams were to do research in support of a trip to Washington, DC and New York City. The teams looked at transportation, New York City history and itinerary, Washington, DC history and itinerary, lodging, administration, financial management, and risk management (Exhibit 2). During the first half of the semester, the students were divided into seven teams. These initial teams were to do research in support of a trip to Washington, DC and New York City.

Students in pilot class shown in their assigned teams for their semester-long project

Exhibit 1 - Students in pilot class shown in their assigned teams for their semester-long project.

Program Phases

Exhibit 2 – Program Phases

In keeping with our primary teaching method of Learn by Doing, students were divided into seven teams. For the first half of the semester, each team did research using project management processes to guide them. At midterm, each team presented their findings. Next, project managers were selected. The managers then selected their team members. These seven, newly constituted teams then prepared presentations applying the project management processes and knowledge areas to their trip proposals.

To increase student appreciation of the “real-world” importance of project management, a field trip to a dinner meeting of the Puget Sound Chapter of PMI was arranged (Exhibit 3). Students participated in the pre-dinner training program and paired up with chapter members to discuss careers and business applications of project management.

Puget Sound chapter of PMI pre-dinner continuing education session (PDUs) on the use of mind mapping software. The North Kitsap High School students are in the foreground participating in the mind mapping training. During the dinner that followed each student was paired with a PMP mentor

Exhibit 3 - Puget Sound chapter of PMI pre-dinner continuing education session (PDUs) on the use of mind mapping software. The North Kitsap High School students are in the foreground participating in the mind mapping training. During the dinner that followed each student was paired with a PMP mentor.

Phase II, Second Half of Semester: Competition

Project managers were selected based on their outstanding performance during the first half of the semester. It turned out that six of the seven were ninth graders! The seventh was in the 11th grade. Surprisingly, it was the younger students who were the most stimulated by the subject matter (Exhibit 4).

The project procurement management source selection process was based on pre-determined criteria and evaluation was done by members of the Poulsbo Rotary Club.

Class project competition: source selection (left) and the winning team (right)

Exhibit 4 - Class project competition: source selection (left) and the winning team (right).

Toward the end of the semester, several students reported on the progress of their learning, which included an explanation of earned value to a breakfast meeting of the Poulsbo Rotary Club. According to one Poulsbo City Councilman who was a Rotarian in attendance, “I wish we would have had these students working with us during the recent construction of the new City Hall!”

Following the local Tech Prep articulation process, the instructor of the project management class at the regional community college, Olympic College, was shown the learning expectations and assessments planned for the pilot course and agreed that students successfully completing the class and earning an 80% or better on the final exam would be demonstrating college level learning and would earn four college credits.

Statistics:

There were a total of 29 students in the pilot class, composed of 16 in 9th grade, 3 in 10th grade, 3 in 11th grade, and 7 in 12th grade.

Twelve students (41% of the class) passed the final exam with 80% or better and received four units of college credit. Eight of the students earning college credit were high school freshmen.

An end-of-course evaluation by the students showed that even though “Project Management” was not the class they signed up for and learning expectations were rigorous, they appreciated learning by doing (not lecture), real-world examples and were impressed by the opportunity to do college level work and earn college credit.

Fall 2010 NKHS Project Management Class

In the spring of 2010, the first pilot class (imposed on the “Student Leadership” class) had 29 students. In the first semester in the fall, 47 students opted to enroll in the new course, “Project Management,” necessitating two class sections. In the spring semester, 35 were enrolled in two sections.

Curriculum Framework

Washington State Two-Year Secondary School 360-Hour Project Management Framework

Six weeks into the pilot class, the two authors arranged to meet with the CTE staff at OSPI, including the state CTE Director, Pathway Supervisors (Tech Ed, Business Ed, Family/Consumer Science, Agriculture) and the state STEM Supervisor. After discussing the need for student learning in project management as a life skill, a job skill and as a possible certificated career option with credentials such as the PMP®, the OSPI CTE staff agreed that all CTE programs of study should include project management learning and that the need existed for an approved CTE stand-alone class in project management, articulated with college classes, and leading to possible industry recognized certification in keeping with requirements of Federal Perkins funding legislation. The Business Pathway Supervisor was chosen as the OSPI lead and worked with the authors to begin the initiative for Washington State. Steve Garfein and Jim Noeldner were tasked to draft a curriculum framework and convene an Industry Advisory Committee to verify the need for such a class, validate proposed curriculum and offer both advice and industry connections for students and teachers. Teacher training in project management was proposed for the upcoming summer conference of WA-ACTE, the organization of the state's CTE teachers and administrators.

The authors adopted PMforCTE as the name of this initiative to bring together the worlds of project management and Career/Technical Education to improve learning opportunities for kids.

Proposed Two-Year Project Management Secondary Program

The design of a two-year high school program begins with the basics of the 9 x 5 matrix of Process Groups and Knowledge Areas. Learning the basics and applying them with a project that students can relate to follows the best principles of learning theory and research. After a semester of learning fundamentals, students need to apply them in a more substantial, semester long project. In a second year, students who are serious about pursuing project management certification need about a month of detailed study per knowledge Area. Because there would be too few of these students to fill a minimum-sized high school class, a worksite learning or internship model, outside of the traditional classroom, most probably mentored (on-line) by a project management expert from business/industry would be essential (Exhibit 5).

Proposed two-year project management secondary school program

Exhibit 5 - Proposed two-year project management secondary school program.

Project Management Curriculum Framework

Washington, as most states, requires a curriculum framework detailing course content, assessments, and alignment with state standards in reading, writing, math, science, and the use of technology in order to be an approved class or course of study. Other elements of a CTE curriculum framework include employability and student leadership standards alignment. Using the PMBOK® Guide, Jim Noeldner drafted a 24-page curriculum framework that was first validated by the state project management program advisory committee and then improved by CTE teachers working with the State Pathway Supervisor for Business. Program advisory committee review and input from business teachers attending two statewide conferences resulted in the approved curriculum framework (Exhibit 6).

Overview of approved Washington State curriculum framework for Exploratory Course in Project Management. The entire framework is 24 pages long

Exhibit 6 - Overview of approved Washington State curriculum framework for Exploratory Course in Project Management. The entire framework is 24 pages long.

By request, this curriculum framework has been shared with teachers from Hawaii, Idaho, Alaska, and with the PMIEF. The PMIEF has shared the framework with North Carolina's CTE department. Idaho is piloting a class in project management for the 2011–2012 school year.

Industry Advisory Committee

Practical sense and Federal Perkins funding requirements dictate the existence of a program advisory committee for CTE programs. The committee is primarily made up of employers and employees in related business and industry. Their task is to validate the need for the specific education/training, recommend curriculum and equipment, validate teacher qualifications and generally keep the related program up to date with the needs of business and industry. The Project Management Industry Advisory Council for Washington State met initially in June at the end of the first semester pilot class. They have met twice more since then and maintain a presence through the use of technology. The group has included representatives from Boeing, Starbucks, the Port of Seattle, Microsoft, Bellevue Community College, the construction industry, with other contributors, including leadership from the Puget Sound Chapter of PMI and the PMIEF. Representatives from OSPI, WA-ACTE and a number of school districts from around the state have also attended. PMI chapters have become involved locally as program advisors when contacted by teachers involved with project management teacher training.

Conferences and Presentations

August, 2010: WA-ACTE Conference in Spokane

The authors shared the pilot class experience and presented information about PMI, The PMIEF (with Diane Fromme from the PMIEF) and the international need for project management education in schools during a general workshop session with approximately seventy-five in attendance. A more detailed workshop followed with several dozen teachers to discuss probable training to become teachers of project management.

September, 2010: International Outreach in Australia

The leadership of five Sydney area Rotary Clubs and the University of Technology–Sydney assembled for a dinner meeting to hear about the “Washington State Model” and to explore the implementation of project management instruction in secondary schools in the greater Sydney area.

November, 2010: Student Presentation to the Puget Sound Chapter of PMI (1) Students from the NKHS pilot class: Alissa, Mackenzie and Tanner after their presentations with Steve Garfein; (2) Venetia Willis-Holbrook, OSPI Supervisor; (3) Jim Noeldner, recently retired Director, CTE, NKSD; (4) Lew Gedansky, Executive Vice President PMIEF, conducting the pre-dinner, continuing education program; (5) Alissa and Tanner discuss the elements of earned value; (6) Alissa, Mackenzie and Tanner with Joe Brannon, President, Puget Sound Chapter of PMI

Exhibit 7 - November, 2010: Student Presentation to the Puget Sound Chapter of PMI (1) Students from the NKHS pilot class: Alissa, Mackenzie and Tanner after their presentations with Steve Garfein; (2) Venetia Willis-Holbrook, OSPI Supervisor; (3) Jim Noeldner, recently retired Director, CTE, NKSD; (4) Lew Gedansky, Executive Vice President PMIEF, conducting the pre-dinner, continuing education program; (5) Alissa and Tanner discuss the elements of earned value; (6) Alissa, Mackenzie and Tanner with Joe Brannon, President, Puget Sound Chapter of PMI.

January, 2011: Spokane PMI Leadership and Local Chamber of Commerce

With Yvonne Luman, a project management teacher-in-training from Spokane Public Schools IT department, the authors planned a systematic approach to introducing project management training to area high school students through a trainer-of-trainers approach starting with summer 2011 student workshops, joint planning for a regional FBLA conference, a trade/careers show for students, and empowerment outreach by trained students to outlying school districts and their students.

February, 2011: Western Business Educators Association Regional Conference

The authors presented the pilot class experience and the need for articulated project management classes to several dozen secondary and post-secondary teachers from a number of Western states. Specific interest was shown by teachers from Idaho, Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii.

March, 2011: Vancouver, BC with Max Wideman Education Foundation

The authors discussed the need for articulated secondary project management learning with Max Wideman and Joan Vincent, Director of the Education Foundation funded by his publications. An “international” student competition between Vancouver, BC students and Washington project management students was discussed.

August, 2011: WA-ACTE Summer Conference in Seattle – Five Workshops

  1. PM for ANY CTE Class – a three-hour pre-conference workshop on introducing project management basics in any and all CTE (and other) classes, limited to 50 maximum
  2. Tools & Techniques for Teaching PMforCTE – a one-hour workshop incorporating teachers’ experiences
  3. PM Industry Panel – project management and jobs in the Puget Sound area
  4. Gutenberg II: An approach to the e-reader/tablet revolution in public schools, the class project from the first teacher training cohort
  5. Teacher Collaboration Using Distance Learning Tools – how our teacher training cohorts have experienced GoToTraining, Wiki's, Google Docs, etc.

October, 2011: PMI Global Congress, Dallas, Texas

The authors published this paper and are participating in a panel titled, Educating for the Future - A Panel on Teaching PM in the School. Washington State Breakthrough: Project Management for High School Students. Case Study - Teaching PM to Teens.

November, 2011: the ACTE National Conference, St. Louis, Missouri

The authors will present this paper and present Gutenberg II, the class project from the first teacher training cohort.

PMforCTE Teacher Training

First Cohort – Piloting a Live, Online Course November, 2010-March, 2011

Strong demand for teacher training from schools across Washington State begged for an instructional methodology that supported getting together in a learning environment other than attendance at a place (like traditional classes) for this class. GoToTraining was selected as the medium, allowing two dozen teachers in the first training cohort to attend class once a week from wherever they were, as long as they had an Internet connection. This tuition-free cohort learned how to use GoToTraining for class time discussion and for subgroup meetings apart from class times. They also learned how to access joint files such as Wiki's and Google Docs to share their learning in project management and their work on a class project, called Gutenberg II (the revolution facing education with the advent of e-readers and tablets replacing printed texts).

Second Cohort – 24-hour, 12 Session Online Course April, 2011-June, 2011

Applying the principles of continuous improvement and lessons learned during the first cohort training, a second cohort of teachers was trained, including participants from other states and some repeaters from the first cohort (who wanted a better grasp of the subject matter in project management). The content of each session was recorded a day or two prior to the actual class in order to give individuals the opportunity to preview the subject matter, review for deeper understanding or to “attend” the class at their own best time if they were unable to participate during the scheduled class time on Wednesday evenings.

The authors, as instructors, and the teachers, as students of PMforCTE, found participating in these classes delightful and surprisingly convenient even when they were in locations other than their normal workstations. Relaxing at home after a workday, on the road during travels, grandparenting out of state, etc…the on-line model of class participation allowed for maximum opportunity for participation.

Class Schedule - 24-Hour Course for Washington State CTE Teachers

The hour-by-hour breakdown of planned sessions developed after the experience of two teacher training cohorts is as follows (Exhibit 8):

The first column is the 24-hour course for CTE teachers. The second column is the breakdown suggested in the approved Washington state curriculum framework for an Exploratory Course in Project Management

Exhibit 8 - The first column is the 24-hour course for CTE teachers. The second column is the breakdown suggested in the approved Washington state curriculum framework for an Exploratory Course in Project Management.

PMforCTE Website Under Development

In order to facilitate the learning connections between the worlds of project management and CTE, a website is being developed to provide free resources and linkages to teachers and others interested in the PMforCTE initiative, to increase networking among these interested parties and to support the continued development and expansion of PMforCTE. PMforCTE.com will foster a professional learning community and will have multiple levels:

  • Level 1: Open to the Public with free materials such as the pocket guide, resources, and linkages.
  • Level 2: Teacher Collaboration through password protected access to all teachers trained in PMforCTE
  • Level 3: Instructional Materials, lesson plans, student activities
  • Level 4: Recorded Webinars to use in classrooms and for teacher training
  • Level 5: Practice and Final Exams

Gutenberg II: Class Project – Learn by Doing

Both cohorts were assigned the task of adopting a project to undertake similar to the learning process that their students will follow. Working with projects they were already otherwise involved with was encouraged and has resulted in a rich array of examples of how to use project management in the educational world. Teacher projects included:

  • Moving a school to another building
  • Starting a new program within a school
  • Having a trade/career fair for students
  • Mounting a major school-wide fundraiser
  • Engaging students in planning a trip to Germany

It is instructive to review a development from the first cohort of teachers trained in PMforCTE. That first cohort of Washington state CTE teachers gravitated strongly to one shared class project rather than multiple individual projects as their learning practicum for applying the principles of project management. That project became known as Gutenberg II.

The project charter for Gutenberg II is to create a preferred future state for primary and secondary school education at five and ten years from now, employing cloud computing on a variety of devices to capitalize on the innate ability of today's youth to use computing devices to facilitate their learning, significantly improve test scores, reduce school costs, and learn 21st-century skills.

The results of this project will be presented to school boards and school district superintendents and at the national ACTE conference in November 2011.

Teaching Materials

In order to improve teacher learning in project management and to provide tools requested by those in PMforCTE training, a number of tools were created over the last months to supplement the curriculum framework used by teachers for a stand-alone class in project management as well as for those incorporating project management into an existing CTE class:

Project Management Pocket Guide – based on the recent survey of practitioners by PMI, this pocket guide is a complete quick reference tool, including a summary project management checklist and more complete descriptors of all the identified processes. This book uses PMBOK® Guide-based vocabulary and processes.

Concise Project Management Pocket Guide – this simplified version of the pocket guide identifies the key, essential steps in basic management of any project. This is the simplest version of project management based on PMBOK® Guide-based vocabulary and processes and is intended to begin a student's learning pathway in project management.

Recorded Presentations – the subject matter of a twelve classes in project management for secondary students as presented to teachers learning how to teach project management has been archived. The PowerPoint slide presentations are reviewed in a dialog process between the two authors.

PowerPoint Slides – The complete slide decks for all sessions of PMforCTE curriculum, whether tailored for high school classroom use, any/all project management learning or presentations to potential supporters of project management training for high school students.

Understanding by Design Template – UBD is a widely recognized process current in educational circles that helps assure student learning from a deliberate approach. Lesson plans using the UBD template are in development.

Where is PMforCTE and Where is it Going?

During the two years of warp speed advancement of the PMforCTE initiative, a number of accomplishments include:

  • Training over a hundred North Kitsap High School students
  • Training several dozen teachers from around the state of Washington and beyond
  • Gaining support from OSPI for an approved course in project management
  • Creation of a curriculum framework for a high school program in project management
  • Connecting business/industry need for employees trained in project management to the education system
  • Articulation for college credit
  • Recognition of the importance of project management to all CTE programs of study in Washington
  • Creation of pocket guides and the pocket guide checklist for general use
  • Making the concise version of the pocket guide available broadly, for free, for introducing the basics of project management to any student
  • Stimulating the start of project management classes in other states (Idaho, for example)
  • Building a community of interest in PMforCTE

PMforCTE to PMforEDU

During a presentation by high school students to Poulsbo Rotary, it was remarked (paraphrasing), “These students are getting well versed in project management techniques to be able to work more effectively and efficiently in their lives and in their jobs. Say, I wonder if school administration has had any project management training, so they can do their jobs better in the face of higher expectations and less funding?” So has begun the PMforEDU initiative to identify and provide appropriate project, program and portfolio management training. As the North Kitsap High School principal said, “Each school year is actually a single large project, with a beginning, an end, and the constraints of time, cost, scope and quality.” (Exhibit 8)

Project management continuum from secondary school student through school district superintendent

Exhibit 9 - Project management continuum from secondary school student through school district superintendent.

PMforSTEM

The largest emphasis in American education at present is STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Business support, federal funding and major foundations are largely targeting their efforts to improve the learning by our students in these areas and in the related 21st-century skills needed by all students. Project management training is nowhere more pervasive than in STEM areas of business and industry. It is logical to align PMforCTE even more specifically to the intensively project-based STEM classes. This has become a focus of efforts by the authors.

PM for Rotary: Interact Clubs in High Schools

Learn, Do, Teach – this is the guiding process for Rotary's extension of public service into high schools and Interact Clubs. As a result of working with motivated youth in the pilot Project Management class, efforts are underway to resurrect the Interact Club at North Kitsap High School with a mission of empowering others with project management training. Led by exceptional students from the high school PMforCTE classes, the Interact Club will teach project management to elementary and middle school students in the school district using community service projects as the practicums for the learning. Many Rotary (and other) community service or world service projects fail or do not live up to the hopes and promises of the projects. They fail not because of lack of intention, will or even funding. They fail because of the lack of project management and attention to sustainability. Instilling an understanding of the need for good project management by high-school aged students to their younger peers will set an example for project management improvement at the Rotary District level as well.

Project Management for…

Because of the demonstrated value in having internationally recognized project management standards and a worldwide credentialing system, it has made not only good but spectacular sense to begin project management learning based on the PMBOK® Guide with high school students. Spectacular is an appropriate way to describe what has happened in Washington at warp speed to the advancement of PMforCTE.

The authors wish to clearly attribute these successes not to themselves or as a result of any unusual expertise on their part. More so, these results must be attributed to the clear need for project management training in business and industry and the craving for this learning as a life skill as well as a job skill on the part of our high school aged youth.

We have been successful in introducing the world of project management to the world of high school students through their participation in CTE classes. The spectacular warp speed of development has been fueled by a pent up need and student craving for learning.

The need and the craving are not restricted to the state of Washington or indeed the United States.
In the near term future, we hope to continue to feed the growth of PMforCTE in Washington and around the nation; hence, our desire to present at this National PMI Congress. But with the internationality of PMI, Rotary and high school aged youth, we suspect that the need and the craving will pull PMforCTE well beyond Washington State and most probably, around the world.

Won't you join in??

Classic Quotes (2010) Quote #34520 Retrieved from http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/34520.html

This material has been reproduced with the permission of the copyright owner. Unauthorized reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited. For permission to reproduce this material, please contact PMI or any listed author.

© 2011, Stephen Garfein, Jim Noeldner
Originally published as a part of 2011 PMI® Global Congress – Dallas, TX

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