Background information


MA in CTE Portfolio

ECT 6948 – Practicum in CTE – Summer 2013


Section I. Professional Profile

Name: Justin Erickson

Current title/position: Engineering/Technology Teacher

Location: Carlos E. Haile Middle School, Manatee County Florida

About the Carlos E. Haile Middle School Engineering Academy


The mission of the Engineering Technology program at Haile Middle School is to make certain that all students can be technologically literate and work ready through industry themed learning and career related skills.

A Three-Year Program

The Engineering Technology program at Haile Middle School is a three year (quarter system) that focuses on the core concepts of technology through project based learning.  National, state and Engineering by Design standards help to guide our students through an exciting educational experience.  Students are initially introduced to the engineering design curriculum at the elementary level and are further educated into the concepts of project based engineering once enrolled in the engineering program at Haile Middle School.  In completion of all three classes of Engineering Technology, students should have an in depth understanding of the core fundamentals of engineering and also receive an industry certification in SolidWorks. 

An additional aspect of the curriculum at Carlos E Haile Middle School is the TSA program.   The Technology Student Association is a student run organization that strives to promote technology literacy.  Students compete in thirty eight different competitions at the district, state, and national level.  The TSA organization aligns missions and themes with state and national standards.  The organization encourages students to develop projects using the engineering design process while promoting work based leadership skills.

Phases of the Program

Engineering students’ progress through three phases of the program with a sound foundation of career based learning.  During the three phases the goal for the engineering students is to develop a sound understanding of the engineering design process with a focus on career related skills.  The first phase of the program (Introduction to Technology) builds upon the engineering designs process initiated to most students at the elementary level through work based learning.  This phase will provide students with a foundation of knowledge, skills and experiences in leadership, safety, materials, machines and technological processes. Phase II of the program (Exploring Technology) focuses on giving students the opportunity to explore all areas of technology and career related fields, with the goal to comprehend the effects that technology has on everyday life.   Phase III (Engineering Technology I)   builds on prior content knowledge and students will participate in innovative independent studies within career related fields to technology and manufacturing.  Part of semester two will be focused on Solidworks industry certification. Students will take the SolidWorks certification exam as their final demonstration and evidence of learning.

 About My Position

Early promotion to careers in STEM related fields is my principal duty as a CTE teacher. As the Lead teacher for the Engineering Academy at Haile Middle School, my responsibilities cover a broad spectrum of tasks.  I am first a teacher of engineering and technology.  My program focuses on a theme of design to manufacturing.  If students are to be work ready as they leave secondary programs it seems a certification is a stepping stone, as also should be the understanding of how to manufacture a product.   I am also an advisor and support my content area CTSO (Technology Student Association).  Career and Technical student Organizations allow students to apply knowledge and learning in CTE to competitive events and leadership opportunities.  TSA fosters growth in innovation, technology, engineering and design through many STEM related activities.

 Reasons for Pursuing a MA in CTE

Teaching to me is an industry that will never be fully understood or perfected.  Teaching trends will change with time and students of the current generation will differ from the next.  Each will require continued innovation of skills and training.

My greatest challenge is keeping up with today’s technologies.  In CTE, we are teaching the future work force and most students for jobs that do not even exist yet.  I do not think this is a challenge one can overcome, rather just to try and keep pace.  I need to constantly persist my training and learning and continue to be a lifelong learner.

In preparing today’s students for the future career world, it is my duty to introduce students to numerous platforms of learning.   Differentiating instruction for all learners in a CTE class is a forthright and difficult task.  As technology and engineering teacher, I feel expected to be a master of many skills.   For a student to learn the reality of a career they need to see it and do it.  They can get the background knowledge from a textbook, however to really understand the career they need to physically do it.  This can differentiate from video tutorials, guest speakers, industry tours, and hands on projects.

My hope is that the Masters in Career and Technical education will provide training and knowledge to continue to grow as a teacher in these areas and also obtain leadership skills to be an effective administrator and leader in my content area in the future.

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