Code.org and College Board Team Reach Out for Talented High School Coders

May 20, 2015

New partnership will bring more and better CS training to US schools

The College Board (owners of the SAT, PSAT, and other US-based college aptitude exams, and Code.org, an organization offering online training in programming and computer science, have announced a new partnership to provide “instructional materials, training, and funding for school districts to expand access” to computer science courses.

The goals of the program are to provide high-quality computer science instruction at the high school level and to identify potentially talented computer students who are in demographics underserved by the IT industry, such as women and ethnic minorities.

According to the press release at the Code.org site, the College Board and Code.org will identify and help schools to adopt two specific computer science courses at the high school level:

  • Exploring Computer Science: A course accessible for all students, designed to stimulate interest in the field and instill the basic knowledge and skills essential for subsequent enrollment in related AP courses.
  • AP® Computer Science Principles: A new AP course that will debut in fall 2016, providing students with the chance to earn college credit for mastery of an array of computing principles and activities.
  • The College Board and Code.org will co-fund Code.org’s professional development of new computer science teachers and will recommend the Code.org computer science course pathway, and both groups will encourage schools to administer the new PSAT™ 8/9 assessment as a way of identifying more students, particularly those from traditionally under-represented groups, for enrollment in the new courses.
  • The College Board says the 2014 PSAT/NMSQT exam identified more than 165,000 women who had the potential for success in Advanced Placement (AP) computer science courses, but only 2.5% of these women gained access to AP computer science training. Also, 33,000 Hispanic and African American students demonstrated a potential for success and only 4.7% received instruction. 

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