Construction Technology

Associate Degree

Program Outline

This outline covers all four semesters of your degree program. You will receive credit for previous college coursework if you meet Penn Foster College standards. If you wish to receive credit for previous coursework, contact the college you attended and ask that your official transcripts be forwarded to Penn Foster College for evaluation. All previous college work must have been completed with a grade of "C" or better, and as much as 75% of the required credits may be transferred. We will also credit your tuition for all the courses that are acceptable.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, Microsoft® Office 2019 or Microsoft 365®, and an email account to complete this program.

Online Library and Librarian
Students at Penn Foster College have access to an online library during their college studies. Students can use the library to do the required course research or for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and will assist students in research activities.

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal
The overall program goal for the A.S. in Construction Technology Degree is to prepare students to enter positions in residential and light commercial construction, applying the learned technical and managerial expertise that will allow for future advancement.

Program Outcomes
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to...

  • Demonstrate effective written and interpersonal communication skills
  • Demonstrate a high level of inquiry, analytical, and problem-solving skills
  • Demonstrate effective quantitative skills
  • Demonstate proficient computer and information literacy skills
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the liberal arts, natural sciences, and social sciences
  • Recognize appropriate techniques for administering and evaluating construction contracts, documents, and codes
  • Estimate costs and quantities, and determine how to evaluate materials for construction projects
  • Demonstrate the methods of surveying measurements and perform calculations to determine the strength of various construction materials
  • Develop and interpret various types of engineering drawings used in the construction field, including computer-aided design (CAD)
  • Describe types of materials and management and building practices used in the construction industry
    Interpret and identify nationally accepted code requirements and industry standards necessary for application of construction materials


Semester 1

Orientation to Engineering Technology 1 credit
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program, and learn the basics of engineering technology.


  • Understand how to use your Student Portal.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
  • Use a scientific calculator.
  • Learn about the development of engineering and engineering technology.
  • Understand technical mathematics.

Math for STEM (3 credits)
In this course, you'll learn the essential math skills necessary for future success in an AS technology program. The course of study includes a review of basic math functions, including trades-based examples, the metric system, formulas, introductory algebra, applied geometry, and some practical applications of trigonometry.


  • Define basic math skills to solve real-world skilled trades–related problems
  • Illustrate your ability to effectively use the metric system
  • Identify your knowledge of formulas to solve problems
  • Identify algebraic concepts to solve problems
  • Solve perimeter, area, and volume for a variety of geometrical shapes
  • Define basic trigonometry functions such as sine and cosine to perform trades-related calculations

Foundation Skills in Writing (3 credits)


  • Review basic grammar.
  • Use action verbs.
  • Learn how to construct paragraphs.

Computer Applications (3 credits)
Microsoft® Office allows people to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and databases. This course will teach you how to use three popular tools from the Microsoft® Office Suite — Word™, Excel®, and PowerPoint®. In this course, you'll learn how to use Word™ to create and edit text documents, insert figures and tables, and format pages for a variety of uses. You'll then learn how to use Excel® to organize and format data, including charts, formulas, and more complex tables. Next, you'll learn how to use PowerPoint® to create and deliver slide shows. Finally, you'll complete a graded project, which will test the skills acquired in Word™, Excel®, and PowerPoint®.


  • Create various Microsoft® Word™ documents.
  • Produce a thorough Microsoft® Excel® spreadsheet.
  • Identify the basic skills needed to use Microsoft® PowerPoint®.
  • Synthesize what you’ve learned by integrating Word™, Excel®, and PowerPoint®.

Introduction to Technical Drawings (3 credits)


  • Read and interpret technical drawings.
  • Interpret symbols and abbreviations.
  • Apply dimensioning and tolerancing to actual print reading.
  • Get an overview of computer-aided drawing and its role in modern technology.

Physical Science (3 credits)


  • Define the physical universe as you know it.
  • Get the foundation you need to understand chemistry, physics, and earth and space sciences.

Proctored Exam
You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.


Semester 2

Introduction to Construction Technology (3 credits)


  • Learn management and building practices used in the construction industry.
  • Plan and excavate sites.
  • Study methods that apply to foundations, steel and wood frames, concrete, and masonry.
  • Discover the challenges that construction managers face while scheduling, controlling costs, improving
  • productivity, and maintaining a safe construction site.

Drafting with AutoCAD® (3 credits)


  • Draft using AutoCAD.®
  • Learn computer-aided drafting and design systems.
  • Use AutoCAD® menus and features.
  • Create files and entities.
  • Organize and annotate drawings.
  • Modify displays.

Business and Technical Writing (3 credits)
This course provides an introduction to the various methods of organizing material for a professional setting. Students will compose business documents using the ABC method. These include memos, emails, outlines, reports and proposals, descriptions, and organizing materials. Students also work on honing their grammar skills.


  • Describe the basics of the writing process and the ABC method of organizing material for a document
  • Identify the parts of speech in a sentence
  • Demonstrate correct pronoun use
  • Choose proper and effective words for writing documents
  • Identify the elements of a well-written sentence
  • Demonstrate how to use length, directness, emphasis, and variety to craft impactful sentences
  • Explain how to construct a coherent paragraph
  • Describe how to write an effective cover letter and resume
  • Format and write an interoffice memorandum, a routine business letter, and an effective email
  • Identify the different ways to write for blogs, the Internet, and social media
  • Describe how to create an organized formal outline
  • Identify the types of research and methods of documentation used in business and technical writing
  • Explain how to create visual interest and clarity in reports with illustrations, tables, graphs, charts, and overall design
  • Explain the purpose and importance of various types of informal reports
  • Describe the nature of formal reports and identify their components
  • Differentiate among external, internal, informal, and formal proposals
  • Describe an object or a process and prepare a set of instructions
  • Describe the preparation and submission of professional and technical articles and manuals

Intermediate Algebra (3 credits)
Algebra is the mathematical language used to interpret and represent patterns in numbers by using variables, expressions, and equations. Algebra is an essential tool used in business, science, and computer technology. Throughout this course, you’ll be introduced to algebraic concepts, along with real-world application problems from a variety of fields. In addition to providing a springboard to the discovery of underlying mathematical properties, these applications illustrate the importance of mathematics in your world.


  • Demonstrate effective quantitative skills
  • Solve algebraic equations, linear equations, inequalities, and absolute value equations
  • Solve and graph linear equations and inequalities
  • Solve polynomials
  • Apply algebraic operations to rational expressions and rational equations
  • Solve problems involving radicals and complex numbers
  • Solve quadratic equations, rational inequalities, nonlinear equations, and nonlinear inequalities
  • Calculate exponential and logarithmic functions
  • Solve binomial expansions, sequences, and arithmetic and geometric series
  • Prepare for the final exam

Textbook: Intermediate Algebra

Construction Materials and Methods (3 credits)


  • Gain a comparative knowledge of material properties and applications in construction.
  • Identify materials used in construction and the fundamental principles of structural, physical and long-term performance.
  • Study product manufacturing techniques and common construction methods.

Proctored Exam
You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.


Semester 3

Precalculus (3 credits)
This course covers precalculus concepts that all college students need as prerequisites to calculus and other related courses required in many undergraduate majors. Specific topics include exponents, logarithms, sequences, series, trigonometric functions, analytic trigonometry, systems of equations and inequalities, matrices, conic sections, polar coordinates, and limits.


  • Solve and graph exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric equations
  • Convert angles from radians to degrees and vice versa
  • Verify trigonometric identities
  • Use right triangle trigonometry, the Law of Sines, and the Law of Cosines to solve problems and plot points in the polar coordinate system
  • Use multiple techniques to solve and graph systems of linear equations and inequalities
  • Recognize, graph, and use equations for parabolas, hyperbolas, and ellipses
  • Solve basic concepts of derivatives
  • Demonstrate various analytical and problem-solving skills that involves math calculations related to precalculus

Statics/Strengths of Construction Materials (3 credits)

In this course, you'll learn how to analyze the strength and force balances of structures, such as trusses, columns, and frames. You'll understand the forces, moments, applied stress and strain, and the properties of materials required to support these structures. Mathematically, you'll be able to manipulate vectors, separate forces into their component parts, and convert between SI and imperial units.


  • Analyze forces and moments at equilibrium
  • Solve stress and strain problems based on materials properties and physical dimensions
  • Design beams, columns, and vessels to provide structural integrity
  • Explain deformations and the effects of stress concentrations and temperature

Basic Surveying and Measurement (3 credits)


  • Learn basic principles of surveying including leveling, angle measurement, bearings and azimuths, traversing, topographic mapping, and areas and volumes.
  • Survey using the traditional and GNSS (Global Navigational Satellite System) methods.

Social Science Elective (6 credits)
(Choose two...)

SSC105 - World Civilizations
This course serves as an introduction to many of the major events of the fifteenth through twenty-first centuries. It also examines the causal relationships between events and trends all across the globe.


  • Identify the causes and consequences of global trade and its conflicting worldwide impact
  • Describe the impact of social and industrial revolutions, fifteenth century onward, on various nations
  • Recognize the conditions that led to the World Wars, decolonization, and the Cold War
  • Summarize post–World War II effects on the economic and political structures around the world
  • Discuss an event that occurred after the fifteenth century and had an impact on a world civilization
  • Explain the effects of World War II on the world population

Textbook: A History of World Societies, Volume 2 

SSC125 - Introduction to Sociology
This course is designed to introduce you to social structure and social interaction through groups, networks, and organizations. Study politics, the economy, population, social movements, technology, and social change.


  • Describe deviance, crime, and social control.
  • Discuss the effects of stratification, racial and ethnic inequality, sex, gender, and sexuality.
  • Examine the role of health, family, education, and religion in human behavior.

SSC130 - Essentials of Psychology
This course will introduce you to the relationship between biology and behavior. You will learn about human development throughout the life span.


  • Identify major psychological theories.
  • Discuss consciousness, memory, thought, and language.
  • Define intelligence, personality, and stress.
  • Analyze the role of gender in psychology.
  • Explain how community influences behavior.

AutoCAD® Applications - Construction (3 credits)

Students are presented with a broad introduction into 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional Computer-Aided Design (CAD) focused on construction-specific applications. Students will use AutoCAD® in hands-on exercises, assignments, and projects.


  • Describe the basic features of the AutoCAD user interface
  • Create floor plans, interior and exterior elevations, and wall sections for your residential project using AutoCAD
  • Create schedules and a site plan based on site conditions from a survey using AutoCAD

Proctored Exam
You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.


Semester 4

Technical Electives (6 credits)
(Choose two...)

BCT160-Architectural Drawings


  • Utilize print to calculate area and volume of objects by using different scales and units.
  • Identify the symbols and lines to get the views and dimensions of the construction project.
  • Utilize the building codes to know the material and the location of building in the site.
  • Analyze the symbols and procedures of plumbing, welding, heating and cooling system from the plans.

BCT220-Building Systems


  • Discuss the factors affecting the design of mechanical and electrical systems and HVAC systems.
  • Explain the design of cooling, heating and air-handling systems in a building.
  • Describe the design of piping, water treatment, and fire protection systems in a building.
  • Explain the design of the various electrical, communication, and security systems in a building.
  • Describe a building's lighting plan, how its created and the factors considered in its design.
  • Discuss how efficient lighting design, acoustic design, and space utilization can improve a building's hability.

BCT250-Building Codes and Specifications


  • Explain the purposes of the IBC and how to apply it to buildings with different uses and occupancies
  • Describe the requirements based on the height and area of buildings and classifications of construction types, as well as those for fire-resistive construction and interior finishes
  • Recognize the importance of code compliance in terms of fire-protection systems, means of egress, accessibility, and interior environments
  • Use the IBC to find requirements related to exterior walls, roof assemblies, and structural provisions
  • Identify how to locate requirements concerning special inspections and tests, soils and foundations, building materials and systems, and existing structures


  • Building Codes Illustrated: A Guide to Understanding the 2015 International Building Code
  • 2015 International Building Code

BCT280-Architectural Design


  • Master the basic fundamentals of architectural design.
  • Learn proportion, relationship of masses, figure, ground, shades, color and symmetry with emphasis on the physical properties of architectural design.

BCT260-Construction Estimating


  • Estimate equipment unit pricing and unit-price cost.
  • Examine bidding strategies, worker and equipment productivity, and value engineering.

BCT275-Construction Planning and Control


  • Review and analyze requirements and preparation of construction planning and scheduling.
  • Discover software for scheduling and planning.

BCT255-Green Building Practices


  • Learn building techniques and practices that reduce the consumption of traditional fossil fuels and energy sources.
  • Focus on improved insulation practices and materials.
  • Understand alternative energy adaptations for residential and small commercial buildings.

Arts and Humanities Elective (6 credits)
(Choose two...)

HUM102- Art Appreciation
In this course, you will gain an understanding of artistic media, historical periods and artistic movements, the roles of the artist and the viewer, and the principles of art criticism.


  • Define the language, visual elements, and principles of design of art
  • Identify two-dimensional media
  • Identify three-dimensional media
  • Explain the evolution of art from ancient Mediterranean cultures through eighteenth century Europe
  • Identify features and popular examples of art throughout the history of African, Asian, Pacific, and American cultures
  • Compare the genres of the Modern and Postmodern eras of art from around the world

Textbook: Living with Art, 11th Edition

HUM104-Music Appreciation
In this course, you'll practice the skill of active listening. Learning to listen differently will allow you to experience all kinds of music in a new way. Most listeners are familiar with how music makes them feel, and we often say we like a particular piece of music because it has a "good beat" or a beautiful melody. This course will allow you to go deeper. You'll identify what the composer might have been trying to convey and listen for the way elements of musical composition and performance make each piece unique.


  • Identify the building blocks of music a composer can use to create a piece, such as rhythm, melody, harmony, texture, form, and timbre
  • Differentiate between the music of the baroque era and the musical styles of previous time periods
  • List the major characteristics of classical music, including form, melody, and instrumentation
  • Describe the musical trends and innovations that occurred during the romantic era
  • Relate musical styles of the early twentieth century to comparable movements in art and literature
  • Explain the evolution of American popular music in the twentieth century
  • Describe the influence of world music on modern western composition
  • Synthesize research comparing composers' influence in their respective genres

Textbook: Experience Music

ENG115 - Introduction to Literature
This course will allow you to develop your critical thinking skills and broaden your knowledge of the main genres of literature — fiction, poetry, and drama.


  • Explain how to effectively read fiction for both knowledge and enjoyment
  • Identify different styles and forms of poetry
  • Use what you've learned in this course to discuss, write about, and understand literature
  • Prepare a critical interpretation of fiction or poetry based on what you've learned in this course
  • Discuss how literary dramas differ from fiction and poetry
  • Identify different strategies of critical literary analysis

Drafting/Engineering Mechanics

In this course you’ll learn how to prepare drawings using AutoCAD for the four drafting disciplines: structural drafting, civil drafting, HVAC/sheet metal drafting, or electrical/electronic drafting. This course explains how civil drafting correlates with surveying and reviews the methods, laws, and procedures used in engineering mechanics.


  • Prepare a set of structural drawings that include mechanical and architectural methods by using AutoCAD
  • Explain structural drafting with basic architectural applications
  • Prepare a set of civil drawing plans using AutoCAD for a parcel of land on which a driveway and a residence will be built
  • Explain civil drafting and how it correlates with surveying
  • Explain the methods, laws, and procedures used in engineering mechanics
  • Describe the calculations of balanced concurrent and nonconcurrent forces and the laws and effects of friction
  • Apply the principles of operation of a basic machine in regard to the linear and angular velocity of its parts
  • Explain kinetics and the methods used when applying Newton’s law of motion
  • Explain the design of simple parts of a structure or a machine
  • Explain the conditions needed to determine the support of beams
  • Describe stresses in beams, torque and torsional stresses in shafts, and theory of column design
  • Demonstrate how to use a transit to take accurate measurements in various surveying operations

Resident Laboratory Training
You’ll be required to complete a series of comprehensive practical experiments using various measuring instruments. Experiments are designed to provide familiarization with instrumentation, equipment, preparation of data, and laboratory reporting techniques. You may earn credit for this by completing the course at an approved school or by submitting a life/work experience portfolio demonstrating completion of similar skills to those emphasized in the laboratory training.

Proctored Exam
You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.



We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.

* As a degree candidate, you will take a proctored examination at the end of each semester on selected courses within that semester. We make it easy because you pick the location and the person you want to supervise the exam, as long as Penn Foster College's established policy and qualifications are met. Complete information packets with procedures will be provided well in advance, before completion of final semester coursework.

Note: Advanced standing student shipments may vary from the above schedule.

A High School Diploma or GED is required to enroll in this degree program. Although this outline covers all four semesters of the Construction Technology Degree Program, you receive lesson materials for each semester as you enroll.

Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Apple, Mac, and macOS are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

AutoCAD is a trademark of Autodesk, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.