200 Hillvue Lane, Pittsburgh, PA 15237
Chairperson: Cynthia Yingling
Phone: (724) 934-7265
Business, Computer, and Information Technology Department
The North Allegheny School District and, in particular, the BCIT Department is in the midst of “the perfect storm.” Technological advances, current business practices, and education as a whole are experiencing parallel changing paradigms. The need for teachers and curriculum to be flexible, agile, and future focused in a fast-paced, ever changing environment has never been more important. The need to adopt experiential, personalized, and project-based learning opportunities throughout the curriculum is imperative for student learning. The North Allegheny Business Department will provide the evolutionary, forward-thinking curriculum along with student-centered delivery of that curriculum.
In a dynamic environment, Business, Computer, and Information Technology (BCIT) education is guided by a global vision, recognizing business as an essential component of curriculum involving all learners in real-life applications of learning. The specific instructional contexts, content, and teaching resources used for student learning are designed for diverse audiences using constantly evolving technology.
The primary purpose of education is to play a prominent role in preparing students to become responsible citizens, capable of making the astute economic decisions that will benefit their personal and professional lives. BCIT courses provide the stimulus for students to successfully complete college programs in one of several areas of business and/or information technology. These courses also help students develop career and college readiness strategies, consumer wisdom, knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to succeed in a global workforce.
From future business leaders to entry level positions, inclusiveness of all populations is an important part and obligation of the business education curriculum. This diversified approach is witnessed by the depth and breadth of the BCIT current course offerings and future course offerings. The economic consequences of preparation affect both consumption and life-work decisions. Leadership, teamwork, self-awareness, and interpersonal skills, as well as effective communication as writers, listeners, and speakers are necessary to function in social, industrial, and business settings.
North Allegheny School District’s multifaceted business education includes subject areas which focus on the functional areas of business (management, marketing, finance, accounting, entrepreneurship), on factors which affect business (economics, international business, business law), and on the examination of business from different perspectives world-wide. With a focus on the global market, business leaders need to develop skills to effectively lead in this new environment with increasingly complex logistical, cultural, and structural challenges. Technology is evolving at breakneck speed. The use of interactive internet technologies (blogs, webcasts, social media, etc.) to identify and solve various business problems, and solving cybersecurity issues have become vital to survival in the business world. Companies are moving toward micro-learning platforms and self-directed learning for training. Business Education is in the unique position to provide students with these experiences and skills throughout the curriculum, preparing them to incorporate these tools into their school, home and professional lives. Information technologies with a focus on cybersecurity laws along with multiple computer languages are imperative to a 21st Century instructional curriculum. With the fast pace of technological change and its subsequent impact on business, it is essential for students to acquire a strong technological foundation for career and college readiness.
In classrooms across the country, business educators are creatively connecting with students. Using a variety of teaching methods, Business, Computer, and Information Technology provides students with a real world foundation for the dynamic technological and global business environment that exists in today’s society.
The purpose of the North Allegheny School District Curriculum Review Process is to continually guide analysis, revision, and reflection of the North Allegheny School District curriculum. A comprehensive and systematic process was utilized to evaluate the existing Business, Computer, and Information Technology Program and research external sources, such as the Standards (PA and National), experts from the field, college and university programs, business trends and challenges, and other exemplar school districts. As a result of this process, a series of Recommendations were developed to enhance the effectiveness of the program and curriculum.
Recommendation #1 – Philosophy
1. Revise the Business, Computer, and Information Technology Department Philosophy to reflect current best practices in business, education, and research, but with an understanding for the need to be flexible and adapt to the ever-changing BCIT environment.
Recommendation #2 – Business, Computer, and Information Technology Curriculum Grades 6 through 8
1. Expand the 6th grade Keyboarding class to include input technology, file management skills, and digital literacy and responsibility.
2. Add a rotation to the Unified Arts curriculum in 8th grade that further expands the development of the following skills:
a. Application of intermediate skills using word processing, spreadsheet, presentation software, and other digital tools.
b. Comprehensive digital literacy skills highlighting the following:
c. Course title: Digital Experience
Recommendation #3 – Financial Literacy Curriculum
1. Develop an online Financial Planning experience for all students as a “badge experience.”
a. This course will not be for credit and will be required for all students to be completed by the end of 11th grade.
2. Develop a semester Financial Literacy course which will include an online course delivery option to be offered as an elective through the Program of Studies at the 11th and 12th grade level with the possibility of expanding that option to 9th and 10th in future years.
Recommendation #4 – Business Leadership Practicum Course
1. Develop a Business Leadership Practicum Course for seniors.
a. Students will be taught the qualities and leadership skills that employers are looking for in the job market. The course will offer students an opportunity to apply those skills by completing a real-world project or by solving a real-world problem.
Recommendation #5 – Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Cyber Crimes Course of Study
1. Implement the addition of a Cyber Crimes curriculum beginning in 2017-2018 in conjunction with the FBI to be offered as College in High School through the University of Pittsburgh.
a. Utilize a three-course structure including the following courses:
· Intro to Information Science (2017-2018)
· Cybersecurity and the Law (2017-2018)
· Computer Security (2018-2019)
Recommendation #6 – Curriculum
1. Revise the Business Management course to include emerging practices and careers (e.g., supply chain management and emotional intelligence).
2. Identify collegiate partners to implement additional College in High School opportunities (e.g., Web Page Design, Management, and Marketing).
3. Incorporate the revolutionary impact and use of social media in business throughout all relevant BCIT courses.
4. Expand the use of blended, personalized, experiential, and project-based learning throughout the BCIT Curriculum.
5. Incorporate current business and industry practices and trends throughout the BCIT Curriculum.
6. Determine, in conjunction with the Math Department, the disposition and content of Personal Finance and Financial Literacy concepts.
7. Phase out Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification from the Microsoft Office Applications courses.
8. Revise course offerings during the Interim Curriculum Review Process based upon the enrollment in current courses and the implementation of new courses.
Recommendation #7 – Textbook Reviews and Adoptions
1. Implement a phase-in budgeting schedule to review, update, and adopt textbooks and resources for use throughout the BCIT Curriculum.
2. Consider the option of online instructional materials where appropriate and available.
Recommendation #8 – Professional Development
1. Provide teachers with professional development pertinent to new textbooks, materials, and technological advancements.
2. Provide professional development and training for all BCIT teachers regarding innovative methods to vary instructional activities and to effectively integrate concepts, application, and skills into the daily classroom.
3. Provide professional development and training for all BCIT teachers who will be responsible for the delivery of the FBI’s Cyber Security Crimes course of study.
4. Work cooperatively with industry to provide the most current and relevant standards of practice in financial literacy.