Construction Technology Program Details

Penn Foster College’s Construction Technology Degree consists of 4 semesters of courses geared toward helping you learn the theory and knowledge in areas that provide the technical and managerial expertise in the industry. You’ll cover topics such as Introduction to Technical Drawings, Construction Materials and Methods, Basic Surveying and Measurement, and more.

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.

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.

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.


  • 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.


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

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


  • 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.


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

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



  • 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.


  • 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.

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

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



  • 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.

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



  • Learn about exponential and logarithmic functions.
  • Understand trigonometric functions and analytical trigonometry.
  • Explore systems of equations.
  • Read about inequalities.
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.


  • 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.
Choose two...

SSC105 - World Civilizations

This course serves as an introduction to many of the major events of the fifteenth through twenty-first centuries and examines the causal relationships between events and trends.


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

This course is designed to provide a basic working knowledge of AutoCAD drafting software applied specifically to construction drawings and at a level appropriate for construction managers, construction technologists, and occupations in which the ability to generate and manipulate basic AutoCAD drawings would be valuable. The course is not intended to develop the in-depth skills required for architects and architectural designers. PREREQ: Drafting with AutoCAD®


  • 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

Choose two...

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


  • 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

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.
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

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 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

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

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.

Additional Details

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered by your Penn Foster Program. You should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where you plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in your Program. Please click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.

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

Penn Foster College Accreditation & Licensing Details

Penn Foster College has been nationally accredited for over 40 years, and has met the high standards of integrity and performance set by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) in Washington, D.C. Penn Foster College has been thoroughly reviewed and has earned several important accreditations and licensing. We also participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

Surround Sound Support

A Committed Support System

While you can study independently, you’re not alone! With a dedicated Student Services department, the Student Community, and instructors just a call away, you’ll have access to the support you need.

Progress Tracking and Goal Setting Tools

Our customizable goal-setting tools will help you create a schedule and stick to it. Need some extra time to complete a lesson? Not a problem — you can adjust your study plan at any time to set a pace that works for you.
Progress Tracking and Goal Setting Tools
Penn Foster Student Community

Student Community

Looking to connect with other Penn Foster students? Our Student Community is the perfect place for you to interact with your peers — as well as Penn Foster faculty and staff — to discuss your online learning experience, congratulate fellow students, and share your Penn Foster experience.

Sample Construction Technology Lesson

Penn Foster courses are written in a way that is easy to understand, and materials are broken down into manageable lessons. Take a look at what an Construction Technology course would look like.
Penn Foster Sample Lesson
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.
We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
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.
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