Teachers as Project Managers: Leveraging Project Management to Build Exemplary CTE Programs

By Miller, April J.; Clark, Brenda | Techniques, November/December 2017 | Go to article overview

Teachers as Project Managers: Leveraging Project Management to Build Exemplary CTE Programs


Miller, April J., Clark, Brenda, Techniques


In today's demanding environment, career and technical educal ion (CTE) instructors must be talented multi-taskers who shoulder numerous responsibilities beyond what their academic counterparts assume. In addition to lesson planning and classroom instruction, many CTE teachers serve as advisors for career and technical student organizations (CESOs); oversee school-based enterprises; coordinate work-based learning experiences; attend or lead professional development trainings, and much more. While some appear to handle this workload with ease, many would readily admit that they could use help to remain organized. They would benefit. Irom project, management..

Long heralded in the business world as a means to facilitate the growth and development of new endeavors and undertakings, project management is a skillset that doesn't get much attention in CTE teacher-preparation programs, or in education in general. Yet with its focus on planning, organization and rellecMon, projeci management can benefit a CTE teacher's dayto-day workflow immensely'.

Projects and Project Management

A projed is a temporary group activity intended to yield a unique product, service or result, while project management involves the application of knowledge, skills and tools to project, activities to meet, a specific goal. Projed, management consists offive process groups: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and cont rolling, and closing.

Initiating a project involves defining the project and determining who will be involved in and.or impacted by the project. Next, the projed moves into the planning process group. Here, a projed manager and his/her team establish the project's scope; determine the work involved in completing the project; develop a project schedule; and create plans for human resources, communications, quality and risk management. Executing the project involves completing the work, and developing the project deliverables.

Throughout the project, project managers monitor and control it s progress, reporting on status; handling issues that arise; and managing the overall workflow in terms of scope, schedule, quality and risks. finally, the last process group will close the project, which entails submitting deliverables; conducting a post-project review; and document ing lessons learned.

Although the terminology and tools may seem a bit foreign at first, it's well worth the time and effort to put. projed, management, methodologies to work in the classroom. The adoption of project management tools and t echniques forces project managers (including CTE teachers) to become more focused on the details of their work and more intentional in their actions and decisions.

Preparing CTE Teachers as Project Managers

The Project Management Institute Educat ional foundat ion (PMIEf), the philanthropic arm of the Project. Management. Institute (PMI), has long recognized the need to integrate project management into secondary school curricula to spur scalable breakthroughs in education. In 2013-14, PMIEF commissioned the nonprofit organization MBA Research and Curriculum Center to examine educators' perceived value of projed management in high school CEE curricula as well as to gauge interest in integrating projed man- agement into instruction. The study revealed that most educators consider project management skills critical to students' acquisition of 21st century competencies, and that teachers need simple educational resources to integrate project management into instruction ("PMIEF Secondary," 2014). These findings prompted further collaboration between the two organizations, resulting in the development, pilot and global dissemination of free project management-rich CTE curricula for business management, finance, and marketing secondary school classes.

In 2016, following the successful launch of these curricula, PMIEF and MBA Research unveiled a professional development initiative to enhance CTE teachers' project management abilities to build and manage exemplary CTE programs. …

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