Governor looks to set pace in computer science education

Governor looks to set pace in computer science education

This yr for the primary time, enrollment in laptop science programs topped 10,000, the sixth straight yr enrollment has elevated, and at this time I’d like to speak about what’s taking place and what’s down the highway.

To be precise, the variety of Arkansas highschool college students taking at the very least one laptop science course is 10,450. That is a rise of 6.5% over the past faculty yr and practically 850% enhance over the 1,100 college students who have been enrolled six years in the past.

We confirmed enchancment in different areas as nicely. For the primary time in Arkansas, the proportion of African American college students who’re taking a pc science class exceeds the proportion of all African American college students enrolled in Arkansas excessive colleges. Additionally for the primary time, the proportion of all minority college students taking a highschool laptop science course exceeds the proportion of all minority college students enrolled in our excessive colleges.

As well as, we proceed to indicate large development within the variety of ladies who’re taking laptop science. Once we began this initiative, 223 ladies have been enrolled in a pc science class. This yr, the Arkansas Division of Schooling experiences that the quantity has jumped to three,135. That could be a 1,300% enhance over 2014.

Many publications and tech organizations, akin to Code.org, have acknowledged Arkansas as a frontrunner in laptop science schooling. However we are able to’t relaxation on our success, which is why I’m working with the Arkansas Basic Meeting to open up extra alternatives for our younger individuals. Final yr, I created the Pc Science and Cybersecurity Job Power, and one in all its suggestions is to require a pc science course to be taken for commencement. I’m grateful to Sen. Jane English for sponsoring this laws and recognizing its significance. And, by the varsity yr 2022-2023, each highschool within the state should make use of at the very least one instructor who’s licensed to show laptop science.

Once we turned the primary state within the nation to require all excessive colleges to show laptop science, our objective was to extend enrollment to 7,500 by the 2019-2020 faculty yr. We surpassed that objective a yr early. This yr, even with COVID-19, we topped over 10,000. Now we have finished that as a result of educators and college students embraced the initiative. Now we have enhanced our schooling system, strengthened our workforce, and we’re persevering with to set the tempo.

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