New High School Computer Science Course Shows Promise

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Information technology drives our global economy, underlies recent advances in science and engineering, and promises innovative approaches to our world’s many challenges. Yet, collectively, a smaller percentage of American high school students take computer science courses today than they did 20 years ago. And the percentage of Latino students in these programs remains distressingly low.

To get more high school students interested in computer science, the National Science Foundation (NSF) is making a four-year, $5.2 million grant to the College Board’s Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) to fund the creation of AP Computer Science Principles (AP CSP).

Details of the new course and exam were recently announced at the third annual Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) meeting as a “Commitment to Action” — a new plan to give hundreds of thousands of students access to a computational education and to prepare them for careers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines, particularly female and minority students who are traditionally underrepresented in college computing degrees and industries. The long-term goal is to promote business growth and innovation and improve our nation’s competiveness in today’s global economy.

We hope that Latino students will take full advantage of this program as it promises to help them prepare for STEM and CS courses in a way that has not be as readily available thus far. We also hope to see more such initiatives in the future.

Image courtesy of nbclatino.com

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