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Making Computer Science Access a Reality

by Marie desJardins

The Conversation

Article excerpt

Explainer: what it will take to make computer science education available in all schools

In 2014, the most recent Taulbee survey reported nearly 102,000 majors in computer science and computer engineering (and another 12,000 in information sciences, a category not reported in earlier Taulbee surveys) – an increase of a remarkable 120% in the seven years since the enrollment low of 2007.

Our take

Connecting K-12 and Higher Education for Computer Science Discussions

While a number of cities and states around the country are taking steps to ensure that computer science education is introduced at increasingly young ages, and required in K-12, Marie desJardins points to a disconnect between what is happening in K-12 and in higher education. Interest in computer science is growing, but not fast enough to keep up with demand; one challenge is this disconnect, says desJardins, Associate Dean for Engineering and Information Technology and Professor of Computer Science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Many K-12 students are not fully prepared to succeed at the college level; this is particularly true of female and racial minority students. How can these numbers be boosted?

Collaboration and coordination between K-12 and higher education administrators and instructors may help. These conversations need to involve not only engaging and educating students, but teachers as well. Progress is being made, but it’s an area of focus that deserves continuing attention—and action.