PLTW, College Board Partner to Make Students More College and Career Ready

For Immediate Release

MAY 13, 2015 — A partnership announced today by the College Board and Project Lead The Way (PLTW) will increase access to and expand college and career readiness opportunities, including in critical STEM fields, for students across the United States. The organizations are bringing together the successes of the Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) and PLTW’s applied learning programs — both of which are shown to improve student outcomes and help ensure successful transitions to college and career. Through the partnership, the organizations will develop college and career pathways built around PLTW’s existing program pathways — engineering, biomedical science, and computer science — by combining AP courses with PLTW courses.

The partnership creates an opportunity for students to earn credentials that signify their readiness for college and careers, and participate in career-focused opportunities such as internships and scholarships. These recognition opportunities for students will be available beginning in summer 2016. Additionally, schools will receive credentials when they bring together AP and PLTW courses in a meaningful way for students.

“To compete in the global marketplace, students need access to challenging course work that will prepare them for college and career success in these critical fields. By harnessing the positive impact of Advanced Placement and Project Lead The Way’s applied learning programs, this new partnership will provide students with clear and comprehensive pathways to pursue a wide range of STEM degrees and careers,” said College Board President and CEO David Coleman.

PLTW and the College Board recognize the importance of preparing more students, earlier, to pursue high-demand degrees and careers. By the year 2020, almost two-thirds of jobs, and nearly all high-paying jobs, will require post-secondary education or training.[1] By 2018, 92 percent of traditional science, technology, engineering, and math jobs will be for those with at least some post-secondary education and training. Increasingly, career readiness is dependent on post-secondary success.[2]

“This partnership combines the strengths of two leading organizations to create immense value for students, schools, and the broader workforce,” said PLTW President and CEO Dr. Vince Bertram. “Through rigorous K–12 curriculum, quality teacher professional development, and widely accepted post-secondary credit opportunities, students and schools will set themselves apart as vital assets to post-secondary institutions and employers across the world.”

PLTW and the College Board’s long-term partnership will develop college and career pathways in engineering, biomedical science, and computer science by combining AP courses with PLTW programs. Each pathway will emphasize applied learning and consist of:

  1. PLTW courses that introduce all students to the field.
  2. AP courses that provide an opportunity for college credit.
  3. PLTW specialization courses that focus on knowledge and skills needed for rewarding careers.

The College Board is also in the process of exploring the development of new AP courses to support the pathways.

Through these initiatives, PLTW and the College Board aim to expand access to challenging course work that gives all students an opportunity at college and career success.

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About the College Board

The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT® and the Advanced Placement Program®. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators, and schools. For further information, visit www.collegeboard.org.

About PLTW

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the nation’s leading provider of K–12 STEM programs. PLTW’s world-class, activity-, project-, and problem-based curriculum and high-quality teacher professional development model, combined with an engaged network of educators and corporate partners, help students develop the skills needed to succeed in our global economy. More than 6,500 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are currently offering PLTW courses to their students. For more information, visit www.pltw.org.

Media Contacts:

Project Lead The Way
Jennifer Cahill
[email protected]
(317) 669-0871
*Note: Current PLTW schools should contact PLTW School Support for more information: 1-877-335-PLTW or email [email protected]

College Board
Zach Goldberg
[email protected]
(212) 713-8052


[1]. Carnevale, Smith, and Strohl. “Recovery: Job Growth and Education Requirements Through 2020,” Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (June, 2013). 

[2]. Carnevale, Smith, and Melton. “STEM,” Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (October, 2011).