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  • Writer's pictureReach University

Reel Talk with President Ross: Why computer science?

In the inaugural edition of Reel Talk, President Joe E. Ross' internal video series, Pres. Ross breaks down why Reach University requires all pre-service teachers to take 3-credit hours of computer science in part of their teacher training.

Sample highlights from President Ross's remarks include:

  • Racial and gender equity in computer science: Although 40% of our U.S. population consists of black and brown women, only 10% of those who each a bachelor's degree in computer science are black and brown women. Even less, 7% of black and brown high school students take the computer science AP test. "Underrepresentation arises from a simple fact: a student living in a very urban place, a very rural place, or an economically disadvantaged place is more likely than not to attend a school that doesn't even offer one course in computer science. So the question is where is [computer science] available and for whom?"

  • Apprentice degree seeker job readiness: As job-embedded apprenticeship degrees become a mainstream postsecondary pathway across majors, apprentices will need to hold a robust liberal arts and STEM skills foundation to take advantage of the full range of professional opportunities. This includes seeing themselves using computer science at work. "Now, that doesn't always mean being a coder. It means knowing how to think, and how to solve problems in a world where everywhere there is code. Don’t we want all of our young people to have the same opportunity to see themselves as powerful in that world?"

  • Why computer science for teachers: "Let’s graduate from high school a generation of young people who see themselves in computer science. How do we do that? By making sure we have a generation of teachers who see themselves in computer science." This is why Reach University requires computer science, alongside immersive math and computational thinking coursework, for all pre-service educators. Reach University is proud to be the first institution operating across multiple states to make this commitment for its global education and liberal arts majors.

To learn more and listen, please subscribe to Reach University's YouTube channel and watch episode 1 of "Reel Talk" here. Although intended for internal viewing, President Ross & Reach University believe in access and transparency, and are proud to share this video series broadly with our growing apprenticeship degree community.

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