From Gateway to Project Lead the Way: Tracking Middle School Engineering Participants into High School

The Career and Technical Education (CTE) Department in the Austin Independent School District (AISD) administers a national engineering program in middle schools, called Gateway, and in high schools, called Project Lead the Way (PLTW). In this summary, the PLTW courses taken during high school were examined for two cohorts of students who participated in the Gateway program at some point in their middle school years (eighth graders in 2011–2012 and 2012–2013).

Overall, more than half of Gateway 8th grade students in 2011–2012 (57%) and 2012–2013 (56%) attended a PLTW high school. Of Gateway 8th graders who attended a PLTW high school, the percentage of students who took at least one PLTW course during their high school years decreased from 20% in 2011–2012 to 17% in 2012–2013. However, of the Gateway 8th graders who took at least one PLTW course, the percentage of students from both cohorts who earned course credits remained high (>80%).