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I want to take this time to wave into politics and give you my two cents on the state of the political world. JUST KIDDING! I think we are all good with a few less political ads. I have seen my quota for a few years, and I don’t even watch that much television. I have a much more exciting topic: computer science. 

Were you aware that 90% of parents want their child to study computer science (CS)? I know I want that available for my young ones. However, only 47% of US high schools currently offer it. Keeping with the statistical theme, 67% of all new jobs in STEM are computing, but only 11% of STEM bachelor degrees are in CS. One of the benefits of a CS degree is its value. A CS major can expect to make 40% more lifetime earnings than the average college graduate. That sounds like a promising field to enter but one we have not prepared our students to take advantage of today. 

At OPSRC, we have a few ways that we can assist schools in increasing or enhancing their CS programs. OPSRC is a Code.org Professional Learning Partner, and we have a regional director on staff: Erin Bell. She would love to help anyone add CS to their curriculum. Code.org offers programs at all levels. They offer CS Fundamentals for elementary, CS Discovers for middle school and CS Principles for high schools. We offer teacher scholarships to professional learning programs for these courses and host events as well. If you are looking to just dabble into CS, don’t forget the Hour of Code. There are tons of resources for this, and it is a great way to start to introduce concepts to classes and grades at all levels. 

Another way that we provide CS opportunities for educators is through our partnership with Bloomboard. Bloomboard offers microcredentials in computer science and has a cluster of 6 microcredentials that can be taken. If you are not aware, microcredentials are self-paced mastery programs for teachers to go through where they will work with an independent assessor to show application on concepts in the classroom. 

Whether you are wanting to dabble in computer science or start a school or district wide initiative, we are here to help you implement the right program and provide the necessary professional development. Please reach out and talk to us. We would love the opportunity to help.

Jason Midkiff

Director

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