Technology education program earns additional accreditation

classroom sceneSUNY Oswego’s technology education program, long a pioneer and leader in its field, has become the first school in the state to earn an accreditation from the Council on Technology Teacher Education.

“We were one of only three schools in the past year to receive the accreditation,” along with the College of New Jersey and University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, said the proposal’s coordinator, Judith Belt of Oswego’s technology education faculty.

The CTTE accreditation is in accordance with the standards of the International Technology Education Association and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, which already accredits Oswego’s School of Education.

“We had to show how the program meets the standard for technological literacy and prepares teachers in 10 areas—five for technical skills, five for pedagogy,” Belt explained. “We had to show evidence from every course on how we meet the standards, and they found we met them all, without exception.”

The CTTE thought so highly of Oswego’s program report that the organization even posted it on its Web site as a model for other institutions to use.

Belt said the only other SUNY school that offers technology education training is Buffalo State, and the only other institutions in New York state that do so are the College of St. Rose and the New York Institute of Technology.

Oswego’s is now one of 39 technology education programs in the country that are both NCATE accredited and ITEA/CTTE approved, said Dr. Linda Rae Markert, dean of the School of Education.

The accreditation bolsters SUNY Oswego’s already strong name in technology education. “Many states across the country have no college that offers this program, and because we have a national reputation, other states come to us,” Belt said. “We lose a lot of our graduates to other states.”

Of the technology education program’s 71 graduates last year, outside of those furthering their education, “everyone who wanted jobs in the field had multiple job offers,” Belt noted.

Oswego was among the institutions that helped create the field of what is now technology education in America during the 19th century, in its related forerunner forms such as manual training and industrial arts.

In his autobiography, college founder Edward Austin Sheldon speaks of a popular optional manual training course Oswego developed “to train teachers to use tools readily in the construction of such simple apparatus as may be required in science work for the lower grades” and boasted about “a shop finely equipped for this work” supervised by the “remarkably competent” and “invaluable” Richard Keller Piez.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Teaching tools—SUNY Oswego senior technology education majors (from left) Alex Vinelli, Paul Rotstein and Jonathan Stacey work with faculty member Daniel Tryon on a three-axis computer numeric control drilling machine during Tryon’s “Manufacturing Systems” course. Oswego’s technology education program recently earned accreditation from the Council on Technology Teacher Education.

(Posted: Oct 29, 2008)

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