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Ohio Computer Science Advocacy Day

CSU leads multi-organizational effort to enhance CS education across the state

Cleveland State University is leading a state-wide effort to expand computer science education across the state. The University is joining with other non-profit organizations, schools, teachers and students to celebrate Computer Science Advocacy Day on December 10. More than 200 advocates will meet with Ohio legislators and state agency executives in the state capital of Columbus to highlight the tremendous advances that have already been made in expanding computer science education, as well as what needs to be done moving forward to ensure CS training is available for all K-12 students.

“Computer science education for all students is now critical to ensure all Ohioans have the skills necessary to be successful in the modern technology economy,” notes Nigamanth Sridhar, dean of graduate studies and professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Cleveland State and an event participant “Computer Science Advocacy Day will give us the opportunity to thank policy makers for the efforts they have already taken to expand education and training in the field, highlight some of the positive outcomes of this work and advocate for next steps to further ensure that CS for All becomes a reality.”

The advocacy day is being led by the Ohio STEM Learning Network, which is managed by Battelle, and Project Lead The Way, and will include promotion of the creation of a comprehensive plan for computer science education in Ohio as well as new legislation to modernize Ohio's laws for the licensure and preparation of new computer science teachers.

“Computers and computational thinking have transformed our modern world,” adds Wes Hall, interim senior vice president of education and philanthropy at Battelle. “Every student deserves to learn the fundamental concepts of computer science and compete for tomorrow’s high-tech jobs.”

Through funding from the Cleveland Foundation and the National Science Foundation, Cleveland State has partnered with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to create CSforCLE, a teacher preparation initiative that will bring computer science classes into every school in the district. They are also working with the Ohio STEM Learning Network to disseminate best practices and modules developed through the project for use by school districts across the state. CSU is also working with the Ohio Department of Higher Education to develop a CS endorsement that can be included in current teacher licensure programs.

“Computer science education is essential to a wide variety of industries, learning concepts and skills that are critical for Ohio industry and for producing knowledgeable and prepared citizens,” adds Debbie Jackson, interim chair of the Department of Teacher Education at CSU who is also involved in the organization of  Computer Science Advocacy Day. “It is our distinct hope that this tremendous momentum that has already been created will lead to a full transformation of educational paradigms to ensure our next generation has all they need to succeed.”