At VHS Learning, we believe all students deserve equal access to educational choices that help them develop critical thinking skills and prepare for the future. At the fifth annual CSforALL Summit, which took place October 19-20, 2021, we announced our plans to further our commitment to expanding student access to computer science education. This year, we partnered with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to develop a statewide initiative increasing computer science access for all. This is our fifth year making a commitment and our most recent endeavor to expand access to computer science education.
Our 2021 CSforALL Commitment
In 2021, VHS Learning, in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, will create a statewide initiative to increase the capacity of schools offering coursework that prepares students for postsecondary education and STEM careers. Through this grant, AP® Computer Science Principles will be offered at no charge to students at 50+ high schools across Massachusetts serving over 1500 students, with the goal of increasing access to computer science education by Spring 2025.
CSforALL is a central resource for individuals and organizations interested in K-12 computer science (CS) education. The organization connects providers, schools and districts, funders, and researchers working toward the goal of providing quality CS education to every child in the United States. CSforALL’s mission is to make high-quality computer science an integral part of the educational experience of all K-12 students and teachers and to support student pathways to college and career success.
CSforALL commitments are new, specific, and measurable actions aimed at advancing the goal of rigorous and inclusive computer science education for all U.S. youth. Commitments (made by businesses, school districts, and other organizations) are targeted to grow support and momentum for a sustainable K-12 computer science education system in and out of school. This year, 115 organizations made 191 CSforALL commitments to advance computer science education in the U.S.
VHS Learning has been making annual CSforALL commitments since the inception of the national movement in 2016. Our past commitments have included the development of new course offerings and certificates, including AP® Computer Science Principles in 2016, Introduction to Computer Science Principles and Java Programming in 2017, a 15-week cybersecurity course in 2018, and updates and expansion of these courses in 2019 and 2020. Our most recent CSforALL commitment in 2020 created a partnership with the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) to offer free enrollments in our AP® Computer Science Principles course to high school students in rural areas. Participating schools from at least five rural districts were able to enroll students in the AP® program at no charge.
We believe all students deserve equal access to educational choices that help them develop critical thinking skills and prepare for the future. We look forward to cultivating our 2021 partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to provide computer science education to hundreds of students throughout the state, while continuing to advocate for improved CS education and access for students all over the U.S.
For information about our partnership with MA DESE, click here to register for our next informational webinar on December 14th.