DC Micro3By Amy King, Communications Manager for NCCER The Academy of Construction and Design in Washington, D.C., has been a valuable community resource for career and technical education (CTE) since it opened its doors at Cardozo Senior High School in 2005. With support from its NCCER Accredited Training Sponsor D.C. Students Construction Trades Foundation, the academy allows high school students to receive craft training and gain unique hands-on experience in the skilled crafts. Since becoming an NCCER Accredited Training Sponsor in 2008, more than 1,300 apprentices and high school CTE students have completed nearly 8,000 NCCER modules under the foundation’s sponsorship. At the high school level, the academy offers NCCER credentials in Carpentry and Electrical, along with general CTE instruction in HVAC, renewable energy and sustainable design. Students are introduced to CTE in the ninth grade through an introductory course that uses NCCER’s Your Role in the Green Environment curriculum to teach sustainability and green construction while aligning to LEED standards. In the tenth grade, students learn NCCER’s Core Curriculum and are introduced to various crafts. When they reach eleventh and twelfth grade, students start taking specific craft training courses and are eligible to participate in different hands-on activities and projects. Academy seniors are eligible to work on outside construction projects through the academy’s Build a House/Build a Future program. The program started in 2010 when students broke ground on a 2,000 square-foot single-family home at a residential site in northeast Washington, D.C. With the support of more than 50 industry partners that provided materials, mentoring and career guidance, the students completed the home in 2012, and it was quickly sold at market value. DC Micro2In a recent Build a House/Build a Future project, academy students constructed a 160-square-foot micro house, which became part of the Micro Showcase in northeast Washington, D.C., where the public learns about the benefits of micro houses and sustainable living. Starting in 2014, academy students worked on the construction planning and framed the exterior walls of the house in a training lab at school. In 2015, the house was moved to the showcase site, where students completed exterior construction and mounted the micro house on a trailer. Students continued construction over the summer, and the project was completed at the end of 2015. In September of 2015, the academy moved from Cardozo Senior High School to Integrated Design Electronics Academy (IDEA) Public Charter School, which has allowed the program to become even more innovative and successful. Because IDEA is a charter school, the new facility provides the academy with much more flexibility to schedule CTE classes and to integrate instruction with the academic curriculum. Furthermore, IDEA provides the academy with enhanced facilities, additional space and the ability to incorporate other career tracks into its CTE program.   TinyHouses-Infographic-1000wlogo Cover with titleFor the rest of the story, read the Sponsor Spotlight article in NCCER’s Cornerstone magazine.

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NCCER develops standardized construction and maintenance curricula and assessments with portable credentials. These credentials are tracked through NCCER’s National Registry which allows organizations and companies to track the qualifications of their craft professionals and/or check the qualifications of possible new hires. The National Registry also assists craft professionals by maintaining their records in a secure database.