In an environment of 21st century demand from tech-hungry students, educators are largely stuck with out-of-date or insufficient training to keep up with demand. Particularly in the area of computer science (CS), schools need more qualified teachers.
“AP courses aren’t the biggest area of need,” adds Jennifer Capps, interim dean for the College of Professional Studies, Metropolitan State University of Denver. “Basic Computer science courses in K-12 are a bigger need as all students need some baseline information about computer science. Introduction courses would be a good place to start.”
For teachers looking to burnish their qualifications, Colorado-based STEMpath offers a 12- to 15-month program of coursework and work-based learning through in-industry externships. Cost is $12,000, and creators describe the program as a well-informed perspective of computer science, far beyond the traditional skills of coding and programming. Upon completion, educators are qualified to teach CS and may be eligible for salary increases.
“Right now, we cannot grow the number of students in robust programs or build new student programs without qualified teachers,” Lauth says. “We expect that the United States will need more than 30,000 secondary teachers qualified to teach CS by 2025. On the other hand, if CS training for teachers stays the same as it is now, we could expect a shortage of more than 23,000 teachers across the country, and Colorado is no exception to this shortage.”
www.edsurge.com, Greg Thompson
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