Advertisement

Michigan selected for $15M Code.org pilot program for K-12 students

The pilot focuses on expanding AP Computer Science course offerings to more students and increasing diversity to ensure CS courses are available to all students.
Online education.
Online education.(WLUC/Canva)
Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 3:17 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - Michigan, a national leader in STEM education for K-12 students, will expand Advanced Placement Computer Science (AP CS) opportunities thanks to a $15 million Code.org pilot program launching in seven states. The pilot focuses on expanding AP CS course offerings to more students and increasing diversity to ensure CS courses are available to all students.

“By investing in our students early on, we are taking another step toward cultivating a rewarding education and career pathway for our students, creating a strong talent pool for businesses, and putting Michigan on the path to economic success,” Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II said. “We are thankful for Code.org for choosing Michigan as one of the first states in the nation to launch this expansive, inclusive computer science opportunity. We encourage educators and students to explore the rewarding opportunities this new AP Computer Science offering brings.”

This investment will leverage best practices of inclusive teaching that considers the cultural perspectives, interests and experiences of Black, Latino, Native American and other underrepresented student groups. The goal of this new pilot program is to grow the number of participants and ultimately increase the number of students from underrepresented groups who will pursue careers in computer science or engineering. Michigan schools will have the opportunity to offer two college-level computer science courses to students with full curriculum materials and professional development support for teachers at no cost with the support of grant funds through the MiSTEM Network.

“Progress on solving our national need to give students access and opportunities to high-quality computer science courses depends on the dedication and leadership of local organizations like the MiSTEM network,” said Cameron Wilson, President of the Code.org Advocacy Coalition. “MiSTEM’s progress in expanding access to computer science over the last few years has made them a truly invaluable partner. They will continue to make a powerful difference in the lives of students who deserve the opportunity to learn a subject that’s transformational in their education, success and future.”

To date, this professional learning partnership has trained over 300 AP Computer Science teachers and launched over 300 new AP courses at no cost to Michigan schools. The results have been stunning – the number of students taking AP CS exams has increased more than 400% while maintaining the rate of students who earn college credit. During this time, more than 70% of Michigan students earned a score of 3 or higher on AP CSP Exams. This score qualifies those students to potentially earn college credit for their accomplishment.

The College Board has been awarding the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Awards since 2018 and 2/3 of the schools recognized from 2018 through 2020 in Michigan were a part of this partnership. Partnership schools have increased the number of African American and Latinx students taking the course and exam significantly.

“We applaud Michigan’s commitment to providing a more diverse set of students with computer science courses, which are fundamental for 21st century careers,” said Trevor Packer, head of the AP Program at the College Board. “We’re eager to see how the state’s efforts continue to close the equity gap in computer science education.”

Cody High School in Detroit Public Schools Community District recently received the Advanced Placement Computer Science Female Diversity Award from the College Board for having at least 50% or higher female exam rates on the AP CS Principles exam.

“I’m so glad that we have quality curriculum to rely on so that our students have an opportunity to learn about coding and computer science,” Carrie Russell, teacher at Cody High School, Detroit Public Schools Community District, said. Code.org has provided a curriculum that is already College Board approved so our district was able to offer Computer Science Principles as an AP course. Through Code.org, I have received training, continuing professional development, and support to deliver instruction to my students that allow them to succeed or excel in computer science.”

To learn more about the workshops for school districts to take part in this pilot, visit www.mi-code.org.

To learn more about the MiSTEM Network, and how business or organization can connect with their Regional MiSTEM Network Director to support Computer Science in their local community, visit www.michigan.gov/MISTEM.

Copyright 2021 WLUC. All rights reserved.