Online Construction Technology Degree Program | Penn Foster College

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Online Construction Technology Degree

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Program Overview

At Penn Foster College, you can earn your associate degree in Construction Technology specializing in residential and light commercial construction. Your courses include Introduction to Construction Technology, Introduction to Technical Drawings, Construction Materials and Methods, Basic Surveying and Measurement, and much more. And as part of the program, you'll have access to a three-year student version of AutoCAD® from Autodesk.®

In this online degree program, you can learn theory and knowledge in areas that provide the technical and managerial expertise in Construction Technology.

Associate Degrees from Penn Foster College are awarded under licensing from the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education.

Curriculum Details

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

Basic Skills Assessment

All degree applicants are required to complete two Basic Skills Assessments, one in reading and one in math, to determine the level of readiness for beginning their selected program. Additional studies may be required.

MET100 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.
MAT100 Foundation Skills in Math 3 credits


  • Learn the basic math skills you’ll need to succeed in your program.
  • Practice math functions using real-life examples.
  • Use the metric system and formulas.
ENG101 Foundation Skills in Writing 3 credits


  • Review basic grammar.
  • Use action verbs.
  • Learn how to construct paragraphs.
CSC104 Computer Applications 3 credits

This course will allow you to build your computer skills through a combination of reading and hands-on practice. You will navigate popular software tools such as Windows® and Microsoft® Office.


  • Create, edit, and illustrate Microsoft® Word™ documents
  • Apply formulas and functions to large data sets in Microsoft® Excel®
  • Incorporate useful charts and graphs to summarize data
  • Add, delete, sort, and lay out table data
  • Create presentations in Microsoft® PowerPoint® using advanced tools, tables, and charts
EST100 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.
SCI167 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

BCT110 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.
MET202 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.
ENG121 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
MAT115 Intermediate Algebra 3 credits

Study basic algebraic concepts. Review the systems of equations, polynomials, and radicals. Learn how to factor polynomial expressions and simplify rational expressions.


  • Explain basic algebraic concepts
  • Solve and graph linear equations and inequalities
  • Analyze relations, functionality, and systems of linear equations
  • Prepare algebraic operations on polynomial and rational expressions and equations
  • Solve problems involving radicals and complex numbers

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Intermediate Algebra

BCT125 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

MAT222 Precalculus 3 credits


  • Learn about exponential and logarithmic functions.
  • Understand trigonometric functions and analytical trigonometry.
  • Explore systems of equations.
  • Read about inequalities.
BCT210 Statics/Strengths of Construction Materials 3 credits


  • Learn the basic principles of vector analysis, equilibrium of force systems, friction, sectional properties, stress/strain, and deformation as they apply to construction materials.
  • Discover the support characteristics of trusses, frames, beams, columns, connections, and combined stresses.
  • Analyze the integrity of simple structures.
BCT240 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 (Choose two) 6 credits

SSC105 - World Civilizations

This course will allow you to understand the importance of studying history as it relates to the individual and society as a whole.


  • Discuss the major events of the sixteenth through twentieth centuries.
  • Explain the consequences of events and the trends that they cause.


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.
EST215 AutoCAD® Applications — Construction 3 credits


  • Learn two-dimensional and three-dimensional Computer-Aided Design (CAD) focused on construction applications.
  • Use AutoCAD® in hands-on exercises, assignments, and projects.
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 (Choose two) 6 credits

BCT160-Architectural Drawing


  • Master the basic drafting skills required for the development of a set of architectural drawings.
  • Learn line technique, lettering, dimensioning, and symbols and how these concepts apply to drawings for construction.
  • View site plans.
  • Discover foundations, walls, wall sections, floors, roof design, stairs, elevations, sections, and construction details.


BCT220-Building Systems


  • Study technical information related to the mechanical and electrical systems used in various types of buildings.
  • Learn the design, installation, and operation of building systems, including HVAC and plumbing.


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

Course Materials

  • 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 (Choose two) 6 credits

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

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Living with Art, 11th Edition

HUM104-Music Appreciation

In this course, you'll understand how to appreciate music by learning about the roles of the composer and the listener, the principles of music theory and instrumentation, musically significant historical periods, and varying styles of music.


  • Identify the building blocks of music a composer can use to create a piece, such as rhythm, melody, harmony, texture, form, and timbre
  • Explain the evolution of Western music through history, from the Middle Ages to the twenty-first century
  • Differentiate between the music of the baroque era and the musical styles of previous time periods
  • Recognize the major characteristics of classical music, including form, melody, and instrumentation
  • Discuss the musical trends and innovations that occurred during the romantic era
  • Trace the evolution of American popular music in the twentieth century
  • Recognize the influence of world music on modern Western composition

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Experience Music, Fourth Edition

ENG115-Introduction to Literature

This course will allow you to develop your critical thinking skills and broaden your knowledge of literature.


  • Identify themes and forms of literature.
  • Define the main genres of literature--poetry, fiction, and drama.
BCT300 Drafting and Engineering Mechanics 3

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
  • Prepare sample drawings using AutoCAD for one of the four drafting disciplines: structural, civil, HVAC/sheet metal, or electrical/electronic drafting
  • 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 second 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
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.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 7® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to participate in and complete your program.

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete all 4 semesters.
  • Pass all courses.
  • Achieve a cumulative Quality Point Average (QPA) of 2.0 or higher.

NOTE: Advanced standing student shipments may vary from the above schedule.
Although this outline covers all four semesters of your program, you receive lesson materials for each semester as you enroll.
We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Credits earned in Penn Foster programs may transfer to some, but not all, learning institutions. If you are planning to continue your education with another school after you earn your degree from Penn Foster, you should check with that school regarding credit transfer policies.
Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and OS X 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.

Sample Lesson

To view a Construction Technology sample lesson, click here.

Construction Technology Program Details

In the Penn Foster Construction Technology online degree program you'll cover topics such as:

Online Construction Technology Degree

The Construction Technology Program can help students take the first step toward a career in residential and light commercial construction. Here are a few qualities that effective construction managers have in common:

  • Detail oriented: It’s important to have a sharp eye and check things twice.
  • Careful: Being cautious helps prevent accidents or injury.
  • Honest: Constructing buildings for others requires integrity and a good sense of ethics.
  • Persistent: Your job requires focus and determination in the face of obstacles.

After earning my degree I received a pay increase and a promotion to a supervisor position. The instructors are superb, helpful, and are there with you every step of the way. Also, the student services representatives are courteous and understanding; they are there to answer any questions you may have. After each assignment I completed, the staff of Penn Foster always had encouraging statements that helped me to stay on course. Congrats to Penn Foster College on being the best and bringing the best out of me.

- Shawn C., Penn Foster College Graduate

Having a degree will increase my chances of being put at the top of the promotion list. I suggest Penn Foster programs all of the time to my coworkers. I am in the military, and Penn Foster is a very military-friendly school. I got all of my materials shipped to me while I was overseas for deployment.

- Amy G., Penn Foster College Graduate

I enjoyed very much the ability to become part of the Penn Foster group. The instructors were extremely helpful and kind. They were always there when I needed help or just plain needed advice.

- Ashley L., Penn Foster College Graduate

Your program includes:

  • Customized payment plans with 0% interest
  • Learning aids such as a 3-year student version of AutoCAD® from Autodesk®
  • Goal-setting and progress-tracking tools
  • Instructional support from our experienced faculty
  • Access 24/7 to Penn Foster’s online community, plus immediate membership in the Construction Technology academic group
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising

Will my Penn Foster College credits transfer to other schools?

Penn Foster College credits have been accepted for transfer into colleges across the country. Students should check with a specific college to see if they accept our credits, as credit transfer can vary depending on the school. Also, the American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT) has evaluated and recommended college credit for many Penn Foster College courses. No form of accreditation guarantees that any learning institution will accept credits from any school as transfer credits. For more information on transferring credits, click here.

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