McQuaid Jesuit offers the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Engineering program in partnership with its New York State higher education affiliate, the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). PLTW is a nationally recognized organization dedicated to providing opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) subjects. These courses offer students the opportunity to explore engineering as a career option while at the same time earning college credit.

Students enrolled in PLTW classes participate in a hands-on, activity oriented program that utilizes team efforts, reinforces their study of math and science, and explores a major career path that, if they wish to continue, will prepare them for further education in the field of engineering or engineering technology.

Currently, McQuaid Jesuit offers three PLTW classes: Introduction to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, and Computer Science Principles. Students completing these courses may elect to earn college credit through RIT, or in the case of the Computer Science Principles class, via AP examination. RIT serves as New York State’s national affiliate for PLTW.

To earn RIT credit, a student must attain a final course average of at least 85 and successfully pass an end-of-year PLTW examination. A student has until the following November after successful completion of the course to register with RIT for credit.

As part of the PLTW affiliation agreement, and in addition to the three courses currently offered, McQuaid likely will offer advanced classes depending on capacity and interest. Future classes will be drawn from the following options: Digital Electronics, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Aerospace Engineering, Biological Engineering, and Civil Engineering and Architecture.