Career and Technical Education Resources in Action


19 June 2017

Written by Alice McDermott

Topics Youth

Three students looking at a computer screen.

Wisconsin-based teacher Phil Huff was able to incorporate PMIEF's CTE modules into his students' Advance Marketing course. "Change the Channel" was a class favorite.

PMIEF offers learning resources to support groups and individuals in their efforts in the area of Project Management for Social Good®.  But how are these resources put into use, and what does it take to implement a program using PMIEF learning resources?

Since our Project Management for Career and Technical Education (CTE) modules have been popular since their November 2016 release, we spoke with Phil Huff, a teacher from Wisconsin, who was part of an initial pilot of the resources to ask about his experiences implementing these lessons with his Advanced Marketing students.

As part of the pilot program, Phil participated in training on how to use the resources, then was asked to implement the three Marketing modules with his students.  Since the CTE modules are designed as hands on projects rather than lectures, Phil used a combination of the PMBOK® guide, YouTube videos, and other PMIEF resources such as Project Management Skills for Life® to help provide his students with background on project management.

He then incorporated the three projects at key points in the school year.  While students reacted positively to all three projects, a particular favorite was the “Change the Channel” project, which asks students to look at channels of distribution for a local small business.  For this project, Phil reached out to a local elementary school teacher who has a business importing Spanish language books from Latin America to provide quality Spanish language literature for school classrooms and libraries.  Students were split into three teams, each of which met with the business owner and developed a solution to the posed distribution challenges. 

Students felt a strong sense of accomplishment from the deliverables they were challenged to develop for this project, and also from being able to apply their learning to a real-world problem for a partner outside of the academic bubble of their high school.

Phil is a strong believer in the benefits of project based learning, and makes frequent use of class projects, but this was his first experience with adding project management to his classroom projects.  He felt that the addition of the project management frameworks made a big difference to how students managed their project work, and that the “attention to the project processes and follow up/evaluation processes helped students to end their projects with higher quality deliverables.”

When asked what advice he might share with other teachers who are interested in starting to incorporate project management in the classroom, he spoke enthusiastically about the benefits of project management frameworks and urged others to not be put off by feeling that there was no time to add extra lessons to the curriculum.  He says, “You don’t have to reinvent the wheel and dedicate tons of time – look to build on what you already have and add project management in pieces.”  He suggests looking critically at what students are getting out of the projects they are already doing since many CTE teachers already incorporate a lot of project learning. 

If you’re feeling inspired by Phil’s great work and would like to add project management learning to your classroom or youth program, explore the Project Management for Career and Technical Education modules and other resources in the Learning Resources Library today!