This 12 months for the primary time, enrollment in laptop science programs topped 10,000, the sixth straight 12 months enrollment has elevated, and in the present day I’d like to speak about what’s occurring and what’s down the street.
To be actual, the variety of Arkansas highschool college students taking at the very least one laptop science course is 10,450. That is a rise of 6.5% over the past faculty 12 months and practically 850% enhance over the 1,100 college students who had been enrolled six years in the past.
We confirmed enchancment in different areas as properly. For the primary time in Arkansas, the share of African American college students who’re taking a pc science class exceeds the share of all African American college students enrolled in Arkansas excessive colleges. Additionally for the primary time, the share of all minority college students taking a highschool laptop science course exceeds the share of all minority college students enrolled in our excessive colleges.
As well as, we proceed to point out large progress within the variety of ladies who’re taking laptop science. After we began this initiative, 223 ladies had been enrolled in a pc science class. This 12 months, the Arkansas Division of Schooling experiences that the quantity has jumped to three,135. That may be a 1,300% enhance over 2014.
Many publications and tech organizations, similar to Code.org, have acknowledged Arkansas as a pacesetter in laptop science training. However we will’t relaxation on our success, which is why I’m working with the Arkansas Basic Meeting to open up extra alternatives for our younger folks. Final 12 months, I created the Laptop Science and Cybersecurity Activity Pressure, and certainly one of its suggestions is to require a pc science course to be taken for commencement. I’m grateful to Sen. Jane English for sponsoring this laws and recognizing its significance. And, by the college 12 months 2022-2023, each highschool within the state should make use of at the very least one instructor who’s licensed to show laptop science.
After we grew to become the primary state within the nation to require all excessive colleges to show laptop science, our purpose was to extend enrollment to 7,500 by the 2019-2020 faculty 12 months. We surpassed that purpose a 12 months early. This 12 months, even with COVID-19, we topped over 10,000. Now we have achieved that as a result of educators and college students embraced the initiative. Now we have enhanced our training system, strengthened our workforce, and we’re persevering with to set the tempo.
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