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Computer and Information Science

A number of secondary schools offer programs of study oriented toward the Advanced Placement exam or toward preparing students for entry level jobs in the field.

Computer and Information Science is a large field of study at the higher education levels. There are hundreds of degree programs.

At the precollege education level, there are a relatively limited number of schools that offer serious programs of study in this field. A number of these programs of study focus on preparing students to take an Advanced Placement exam in Computer and Information Science. Others are vocationally oriented, often designed to prepare students for an entry level job.

The following is quoted from the ISTE Website (9/15/02):

The NCATE standards lie at the heart of quality teacher preparation. ISTE has developed performance assessment standards for initial and advanced educational computing and technology programs including: (1) the technology facilitation initial endorsement; (2) the technology leadership advanced program; and (3) the secondary computer science education preparation programs. Institutions offering one or more of these programs should respond to the corresponding set of program standards.

Technology Facilitation (TF) -- Initial Endorsement Standards Technology Facilitation (TF) endorsement programs meeting ISTE standards prepare candidates to serve as building/campus-level technology facilitators. Candidates completing this program will exhibit knowledge, skills, and dispositions equipping them to teach technology applications; demonstrate effective use of technology to support student learning of content; and provide professional development, mentoring, and basic technical assistance for other teachers who require support in their efforts to apply technology to support student learning. (Revised Fall 2001)

Technology Leadership (TL) -- Advanced Program Standards Technology Leadership (TL) advanced programs meeting ISTE standards prepare candidates to serve as technology directors, coordinators, or specialists. Special preparation in computing systems, facilities planning and management, instructional program development, staff development, and other advanced applications of technology to support student learning and assessment will prepare candidates to serve in technology-related leadership positions at district, regional, and/or state levels. (Revised Fall 2001)

Secondary Computer Science Education (CSED) -- Endorsement/Degree Program Standards Secondary Computer Science Education programs meeting ISTE standards prepare candidates to serve as teachers of computer science in secondary schools. They focus on preparing their students in the more technical aspects of computing such as problem analysis, algorithm selection and evaluation; program design, implementation, specification, and verification; and systems analysis. (Revised 1997 -- Slated for Revision, Fall 2002) The draft proposed new standards are available at http://cnets.iste.org/. See: NCATE NEWS (9/10/02) Proposed Secondary Computer Science Education Standards to be reviewed for adoption by NCATE in October of 2002.


Advanced Placement Courses: Course Overviews [Online]. Accessed 3/28/02: http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/courses/

This Website contains descriptions of all of the AP courses, including Computer Science A and Computer Science AB. In May of 2001 approximately 15,000 students took the Computer Science A exam. Course descriptions are available on the Website.

Association for Computer Studies Educators (ACSE) [Online]. Accessed 4/13/02: http://www.acse.net/resources.htm. Quoting from the Website:

ACSE is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization governed by a 10 member steering committee. ACSE draws its membership from all levels of computer studies education, encompassing high schools, colleges and universities. Membership is encouraged for:
  • high school teachers responsible for teaching the Grade 9 Integrated Technologies course
  • high school teachers responsible for teaching the Computer and Information Science courses
  • high school teachers responsible for teaching the Computer Engineering Technology courses
  • consultants and co-ordinators with responsibilities for computer studies curriculum and support
  • college and university faculty in computer science and engineering
  • business and industry representatives interested in supporting computer studies education.

Computer Science Special Interest Group (ISTE SIGCS) [Online]. Accessed 3/28/02: http://www.iste.org/sigcs/index.html. Quoting from the Website:

The Special Interest Group for Computer Science (SIGCS) seeks to enhance the expertise of its members and to strengthen computer science as an academic discipline on all educational levels, but focuses on secondary instruction. We consider computer science to include skills and concepts of computer literacy/fluency, software development, and computer organization and operation. SIGCS publishes JCSE Online, which contains articles, reviews, editorials, and reports addressing policies, curriculum issues, instructional strategies, programming languages and techniques, as well as discussion on current issues in computer science education. SIGCS interacts with other professional organizations and provides an electronic forum to advance computer science education.

Computing Curricula 2001 [Online]. Computer Science Volume December 15, 2001. Accessed 3/15/02: http://www.acm.org/sigcse/cc2001/. Quoting from the Website:

In the fall of 1998, the Computer Society of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE-CS) and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) established the Joint Task Force on Computing Curricula 2001 (or CC2001 for short) to undertake a major review of curriculum guidelines for undergraduate programs in computing. The charter of the task force was expressed as follows:

To review the Joint ACM and IEEE/CS Computing Curricula 1991 and develop a revised and enhanced version for the year 2001 that will match the latest developments of computing technologies in the past decade and endure through the next decade.

As indicated in our charter, the goal of the CC2001 effort is to revise Computing Curricula 1991 so that it incorporates the developments of the past decade. That task has proved much more daunting than we had originally realized. Computing has changed dramatically over that time in ways that have a profound effect on curriculum design and pedagogy. Moreover, the scope of what we call computing has broadened to the point that it is difficult to define it as a single discipline. Past curriculum reports have attempted to merge such disciplines as computer science, computer engineering, and software engineering into a single report about computing education. While such an approach may have seemed reasonable ten years ago, there is no question that computing in the 21st century encompasses many vital disciplines with their own integrity and pedagogical traditions.


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