Project Based Learning

Project-Based Learning (PBL) is the primary means of instruction at CSA.  Students are expected to produce solutions to ill-defined problems, respond to rigorous challenges that require creative and complex solutions, and collaborate with others to achieve results.  Content standards are integrated into all projects so that students can master traditional course content through projects that require students to be evaluated on a wide variety of developmental skills.


Along with being assessed on content, all students are assessed on 21st century learning outcomes:

  • Content

  • Written Communication

  • Oral Communication

  • Collaboration

  • Agency


Grading Scale:

A+ = 12.0 (4.33)     B+ = 9.0  (3.33)     C+ = 6.0  (2.33)     D+ = 3.0   (1.33)     F = 0

A    = 11    (4.0)       B = 8.0    (3.0)        C = 5.0    (2.0)       D  = 2.0     (1.0)

A-  = 10    (3.67)     B- = 7.0   (2.67)      C- = 4.0   (1.67)    D- = 1.0     (.67)



Our curriculum brings together the strength of modern technology, community partnerships, problem solving, interdisciplinary instruction, and global perspectives in a student-centered, collaborative, project based community.  CSA’s goal is to provide an education on 21st Century Skills in a project-based learning environment.  This is accomplished through unprecedented collaboration between K-12 public schools, higher education, business, organized labor, and government.  Through these partnerships, the lessons taught at CSA are continually updated to remain relevant to the students.  Students benefit from having unique opportunities to visit and experiment in laboratories and workplaces and from having access to leaders from all levels of society.


Traditionally, high-performing students opt to take AP courses.  Because the prescriptive nature of AP courses does not align well with an in-depth project-based learning curriculum, CSA New Tech does not offer AP courses; however, student performance in their post-secondary courses delivered on the Ivy Tech or IUPUC campus demonstrates how students can adapt their learning to traditional post-secondary environments.

CSA Diplomas & New Tech Seal

Because CSA is a magnet school, students’ diplomas will be from Columbus North High School or Columbus East High School.  Therefore, students will be awarded the Indiana Core 40 diploma, a Technical Honors Diploma, or the Academic Honors Diploma based on specific credit requirements completed.  To earn a diploma, students must also pass the End of Course Assessments (ECA’s) for Algebra 1 and English 10.  Students who have completed the course requirements for a diploma but have not passed the ECA’s may be awarded a certificate of completion. 


** Students who have met all CSA New Tech’s additional graduation expectations will also earn a CSA New Tech seal.  To earn this honorary seal, students must do the following:


  1. complete 100 hours of community service

  2. complete a career-related internship during senior year

  3. complete a senior project

  4. complete a STEM-focused curriculum

  5. earn 12 college credit hours

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Columbus Signature Academy - New Tech Campus / T 812.376.4595 / F 812.376.4599 / 2205 25th Street / Columbus, IN 47201