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Illinois University to Train Computer Science Teachers

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is on a new mission to educate and certify high school teachers in teaching computer science.

The five-year Illinois Secondary Teacher Education and Computer Science (I-STECS) initiative funded by its Investment for Growth program will develop summer institutes where teachers can receive credits.

The program will also recruit undergraduate students who have a keen interest in incorporating technology in their classrooms thus addressing the shortage of computer science teachers in the state and across the nation in long-term.

“The I-STECS initiative responds directly to recent, urgent calls from politicians, business leaders, educational policymakers, and school administrators, especially in Chicago, for the establishment of programs of computer science throughout secondary schools in the State of Illinois and national,” College of Education Dean James D. Anderson said.

Under the program, the focus will be more on giving computer science education beyond introductory classes by connecting various schools and encourage schools who offer such classes to expand their scale.

“We will build capacity by developing a secondary teacher education program in computer science and an endorsement program for teachers locally, across the state, and nationally,” said Mark Dressman, a professor in Curriculum & Instruction in the University of Illinois’ College of Education.

“In these programs, teachers and pre-service teachers will acquire content knowledge in computer science as well as knowledge of how to teach this content to students in K-12 and, possibly, community college settings,” Dressman added.


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