Computer science develops computational, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills that show students how to create and use new technologies. This knowledge base is needed as a launch pad to prepare students for college, careers, and community engagement. Regardless of their ultimate field of study or occupation, a computer science education will ignite their future success.
Computer science is a rapidly growing field that develops essential knowledge and skills for today’s world. Whether a student goes into tech or healthcare, agriculture or the arts, nearly every industry relies on the foundational skills of computer science. Computation integration is increasing in the job market, in both STEM and non-STEM fields.
California is a national education leader and tech capital of world. To continue to lead, California must take a long-term, strategic approach to prepare all of its students with computational skills, or risk being left behind. Occupations in computing are expected to further drive our economy and add new jobs. If Californians are going to be prepared to fill those jobs, we need to ensure our students have the skills they need to participate in a technological workforce.
To achieve equity in computer science we need the participation of greater numbers of students who have traditionally been underrepresented in computer science--Black, Latinx, Native American, girls, rural students, and low-income students, in the field. The diversity in the state and the country’s population should be reflected those who participate in computer science education. To achieve equity, we must focus at multiple levels: access to CS courses, access to high-quality teaching, enrollment in CS courses, success in CS courses, and matriculation into post-secondary computing majors and careers at representative levels.
CSforCA advocates for all students to have access to a high-quality computer science education that prepares them for college, careers and community engagement.
To achieve this, in 2019-2020, we are focusing on building infrastructure in our state to ensure CS can be implemented effectively and equitable. We are advocating for the following:
Create a comprehensive regional hub of professional development and ongoing support for teachers, counselors, and administrators. The program is to be modeled after the National Science Foundation (NSF) research pilot, "Summer of CS”.
Pre-Service Teacher Education
Provide incentives for Schools of Education to develop pre-service credentialed programs to teach computer science.
Integrate College & Career Pathways
Integrate college and career pathways to make CS available to all students and schools and increase job placement. Perkins funding can be leveraged for CS courses, regardless of pathway or teacher credential. Access to computer science should also be part of the state’s accountability system, as an indicator for college and career readiness.
California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) review of computer science teacher credentials to revisit which should authorize them to teach CS in short-term, while developing a long-term CS credential pathway.
To find out who has access to computer science education in your community, check out our data tool and click on your county or enter your district or school.
To learn more about how you can advocate for equitable computer science education and get involved in the CSforCA coalition, please visit our Take Action page.