California is the global leader in technology, and computer science affects every industry, person, and global problem in the 21st century. But access to computer science education and those who work in the tech sector do not reflect the demographic diversity of our state. We believe that every student deserves to be equipped with the knowledge, tools, and resources to successfully participate and thrive in modern society.
Computer science education can help solve problems in our world, including:
As misinformation spreads across the globe, digital literacy is more important than ever. Artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to produce fake news, but it can also be used to fact-check on a global scale. Thinking critically about the ethical impacts of computing, can inspire students to create solutions and become involved in their communities as problem-solvers. Find out how a California tech startup is working to boost civic engagement across the state.
California is the 5th largest economy in the world. While our state is home to many industries, agriculture is by far the largest. Computer science is crucial to making agriculture more sustainable and productive in our changing climate. Take a look at how California uses CS in Agriculture!
Computer science helps engineers, architects, and builders construct more liveable and breathable cities that promote public transportation, prioritize green space, and increase our housing supply. Check out how CS is influencing housing in California!
Computer science is instrumental in helping address climate change. From research, to sustainable energy, CS is everywhere in the environmental movement. California is pioneering renewable energy development with the help of computer science!
Social media has been instrumental in advocacy: from organizing support, to mobilizing walk-outs, and planning protests, the internet has provided a new kind of connection that has led to monumental societal progress. Learn more about the role social media played in the Black Lives Matter movement across the country, including right here in California.
The evolution of computer science and entertainment mediums go hand-in-hand. Between visual effects, animation, sound design, editing, and more, computer science is foundational to the entertainment industry. Find out how one California visual effects company changed movies forever.
Computer science has led to some of the biggest innovations in medical history like sequencing the human genome, and it also helps doctors and patients everyday with electronic medical records - making healthcare management more effective and efficient for everyone. Right now, California is leading the advancement of at-home-care technology with computer science.
Since 2012, CSforCA has worked to ensure equitable access to high-quality computer science teaching and learning opportunities across California.
• In the 2008-2009 school year, fewer than 10% of students in grades 7 through 12 had taken a computing course.
• Across the state, only 35% of high schools offered CS courses in 2008-2009. Two-thirds of high schools offered no computer science courses.
• In 2010, only 2,793 California students took the Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science exam.
• In 2010, 230 of the students who took AP Computer Science were self-identified as Latinx, and just 33 were Black.
• 42% of California’s high schools offer computer science courses.
• 34% of schools across the state offer a core CS course, only 14% offer a specialized course and 13% offer an Advanced Placement course.
• Nearly 30,000 students participated in an Advanced Placement CS course.
• Of the students who took AP CS courses in 2019, just 561 were Black and 44 were Indigenous.
• Schools serving low-income communities are 3x less likely to offer core CS courses and over 2x less likely to offer Advanced Placement courses than schools serving high-income communities.
• Rural schools are 2x less likely to offer CS courses than urban schools.
• While girls comprise 49% of the population in California high schools, just 30% of students taking CS courses are girls.
Since our Coalition’s founding in 2012, CSforCA has led the charge toward computer science equity in California. Click below to view a timeline of our history and accomplishments:
CSforCA is working for a future where all students have access to high-quality computer science education —to both equip students with the critical thinking skills they need to thrive, and prepare students for a 21st century, digitized world.
1. Expanding access to professional development, so that more educators are prepared to teach CS.
2. Continuing to partner with Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to pilot equity-focused programs that bring CS education to minority communities.
3. Working with policy-makers to increase funding for computer science education.
4. Advocating for an equitable computer science curriculum to be implemented across California.