State’s First Computer Science Education Program of Study Graduates Also Recognized
Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key recently announced four winners of the 2017-2018 #ARKidsCanCode Enrollment Contest. The winners were announced at the 2018 Computer Science Educators Conference at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia.
Four schools were honored for their efforts to encourage students to enroll in high school computer science courses: Bentonville High School in Bentonville, Mountain Home Career Academies in Mountain Home, Greenwood Freshman Academy in Greenwood and Arkansas High School in Texarkana.
“Through the efforts of the Arkansas Department of Education and commitment from teachers and schools around the state, Arkansas’ Computer Science initiative continues to grow,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “I am honored to recognize these four deserving schools for embracing and growing the initiative. Through this commitment, as well as ongoing professional development opportunities for teachers, we are increasing availability and access to computer science courses for all students.”
ADE announced the contest in August 2017 to honor schools for their outstanding effort to promote computer science education. All public schools with students enrolled in computer science courses were eligible. Funding for the awards was provided by the Arkansas Department of Education Office of Computer Science.
The four schools were recognized in the following categories:
- Schools with fewer than 1,000 students: Greenwood Freshman Academy received $15,000 and was recognized for having the highest number and highest percentage of students enrolled in computer science courses.
- Schools with 1,000 or more students: Mountain Home Career Academies received $7,500 and was recognized for having the highest percentage of students enrolled in computer science courses. Bentonville High School received $7,500 and was recognized for having the highest number of students enrolled in computer science classes.
- Drawing for Computer Science Grant: Schools submitted applications for the $5,000 computer science grant by submitting information regarding how they encouraged students to enroll in computer science courses this past school year. Arkansas High School’s name was drawn. The school can use the grant to support future growth in computer science classes.
First Graduates of Computer Science Program
Also recognized were the first graduates of the computer science post-secondary programs of study. ADE approved computer science programs of study at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, Arkansas Tech University at Russellville and Henderson State University at Arkadelphia.
Four initial graduates are Candace Speers from Henderson State University, Chris Malone and Nate Vogel from the University of Arkansas, and Joseph Donnell from Arkansas Tech University. Drake Maltos, also recognized, is scheduled to graduate in December from the University of Arkansas.
Upon graduation and passing the required certification exams, these five graduates will join more than 225 teachers in Arkansas who are certified to teach computer science at the high school level.
To learn more about computer science education, visit the ADE website at http://www.arkansased.gov/
divisions/special-projects/ arkansas-computer-science- initiative.