Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Computer Science Courses Show Steep Decline: Fewer Schools Are Offering CS Classes, Which Means Fewer Students Are Taking Them. One Expert Calls the Trend 'A Serious Warning Sign.'

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Computer Science Courses Show Steep Decline: Fewer Schools Are Offering CS Classes, Which Means Fewer Students Are Taking Them. One Expert Calls the Trend 'A Serious Warning Sign.'

Article excerpt

According to new research from the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA; www.csta.acm.org), the number of advanced placement computer science courses offered in high schools has dropped significantly in the last four years and so have the number of students enrolled in them.

The 2009 CSTA National Secondary Computer Science Survey, conducted this past spring, collected responses from some 1,100 high school computer science teachers. Of those respondents, only 65 percent reported that their schools offer introductory or pre-AP computer science classes, compared to 73 percent in 2007 and 78 percent in 2005. Only 27 percent reported that their schools offer AP computer science, compared to 32 percent in 2007 and 40 percent in 2005. And among schools that do provide computer science courses, a full 70 percent of respondents said there are qualified students who are not enrolling in those course offerings.

The survey also asked participants whether their schools offered CS content in courses other than introductory or AP computer science classes. Seventy-four percent answered yes, down from 85 percent in 2007.

"The continuing drop in students taking AP CS is a serious warning sign about the state of computing in this country, as a student taking AP typically indicates his or her interest in majoring in that field in college or pursuing a career in that area," said Chris Stephenson, CSTA executive director, in a statement. …

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