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University of Iowa News Release

May 11, 2006

UI, ISU Cite Three Iowa High Schools For Quality Pre-Engineering Programs

The University of Iowa College of Engineering, in concert with the Iowa State University College of Engineering, has recognized three Iowa high schools for providing high quality pre-engineering programs.

The three -- Maquoketa High School, Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School and Western Dubuque High School -- are the first Iowa schools to be recognized for having established Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Pre-Engineering and Engineering Technology Programs that meet the stringent quality standards set by the universities.

David G. Rethwisch, UI professor of chemical and biochemical engineering and director of PLTW Iowa, said that the three schools have demonstrated their commitment to the quality standards of the PLTW program by having teachers of pre-engineering trained during the summer, by teaching the PLTW courses using the latest computer software, and by maintaining a commitment to teacher and counselor ongoing training during the school year. "A crucial element to the success of the program is regularly updating teacher skills and promoting counselor awareness of the latest PLTW initiatives for students," Rethwisch said.

The certification process included a self-assessment of the PLTW program and a one-day site visit by: Rethwisch; Loren Zachary, ISU assistant dean of engineering; Camille Sloan-Schroeder, program coordinator, K-12 Educational Partnering at Iowa State University; and Kenneth Maguire, educational consultant, Manufacturing, Transportation, Construction and Communications, Iowa Department of Education. The site visit committee met with teachers, administrators, counselors, students and community members to review student course portfolios.

Rethwisch noted that students can apply for transcripted college credit or other forms of recognition at a variety of national affiliate colleges and universities so long as they demonstrate exemplary work in their pre-engineering courses and pass the appropriate PLTW examination.

Funded by the non-profit Charitable Venture Foundation, Project Lead The Way is a national program offered in more than 900 schools in 42 states to address a national shortage of engineers and engineering technologists.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,