Ohio’s Lake Erie College has received $150,000 in funding as part of the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s (ODHE) Teach Computer Science (CS) Grant Program.
This new funding allows qualifying educators to teach computer science through supplemental licensure, college endorsement programs, and alternative resident educator licenses. The competitive grant program awards funding to eligible state institutions of higher education.
“The demand for tech skills is increasing daily and more students are seeking computer science classes to prepare them for the future. However, we can’t offer more computer science classes without preparing a larger pool of qualified teachers who can help them earn these in-demand skills,” Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted said in a press release.
“To help meet the demand for more computer science teachers, we are removing barriers by covering the costs of coursework, materials, and exams for teachers who want to teach computer science in Ohio’s K-12 classrooms so they can better educate Ohio’s future workforce,” he said.
The school said it will apply the funding to its existing computer science endorsement program, which allows currently licensed teachers to become certified to teach computer science by taking a range of graduate-level coursework including computer hardware and software, programming, and technology-related ethics, as well as classroom experience teaching computer science concepts.
The Teach CS grant allows the college to cover the costs of tuition, books, materials, a computer, and the Ohio Assessment for Educators. Lake Erie College said it will also support teachers with computer science-themed professional development, as part of its Center for Professional Development.
“Some people are intimidated by computer science because they think it’s all about coding. Computer science is not just about coding; it’s about problem solving and logical thinking,” said Greg Rothwell, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Education and Program Director. “Our computer science endorsement helps open doors for our students by fostering creativity and critical thinking, essential skills for the twenty first century workforces.”