Nearly, 4,000 students are enrolled in computer science courses this school year, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced today, Oct. 22.
In the 2015-16 school year, 3,973 students have enrolled in computer science courses, with more than 550 taking more than one course, and 2,004 students are currently enrolled in the new course, Essentials of Computer Programming, created this year under the governor’s direction.
Hutchinson has set a goal of having 6,000 high school students take computer science courses each year.
“The numbers are very promising,” he said in a news release. “To have a 260 percent increase over last year in the number of students taking computer science courses tells me that there is a hunger for this curriculum.
“Through our computer-science initiative, Arkansas’s students, teachers and educators have gotten the word that computer coding is an essential skill necessary to compete in any 21st century field. These first-year numbers send a message to businesses and entrepreneurs that Arkansas will lead the way when it comes to computer literacy.”
There was also a 300 percent increase in the enrollment of female students in computer science courses, and African-American female enrollment increased 609 percent.
In August 2015, just before school started, Hutchinson announced that 1,600 students had enrolled in computer science via Virtual Arkansas, a partnership between the Arkansas Department of Education and the Arkansas Education Service Cooperatives providing online classes.
Today’s announcement includes students enrolled in computer science via Virtual Arkansas and in the classroom.
Fourteen courses that have been identified to teach computer coding are being offered in the 2015-16 school year include:
- Essentials of Computer Programming
- Computer Science with Mathematics
- AP Computer Science
- IB Computer Science
- Programming I
- Programming II
- Java I
- Java II
- Intro to Object Oriented Programming
- Computer Science and Software Engineering
- Computer Game Design and Development
- Intro to Mobile Application Development
- Mobile Application Development I
- Mobile Application Development II
In the September/October issue of AMP, we covered the teacher trainings offered in the state to prepare educators to meet Hutchinson’s computer science initiative. Read it here.