Coding skills are some of the most sought after STEAM abilities in the job market. A 2016 study by Burning Glass found that programming jobs are growing 12% faster than the market average and that 49% of all jobs, that pay more than $58,000, require some coding skills. Thus it is critical that all students have access to quality computer science (CS) learning resources in order to prepare them for the 21st century workforce.

Unfortunately, access to CS learning resources is not uniform or equitable. According to 2016 research completed by Gallup and Google, 40% of schools report having NO computer science offerings. And this lack of access is more pronounced among people of color and females. For example, black students are less likely than White students to have classes dedicated to CS at the school they attend. While female students report less awareness regarding availability of CS learning opportunities on the Internet or in their community.

As educators, it is critical to help improve the availability, access and quality of CS offerings in K-12 education settings. But how should educators go about this? 2017 research completed by Couragion, and supported by the National Science Foundation, offers educators a way to benchmark their current CS program while gaining insights into how to build or improve their CS offerings.

By attending this workshop, educators will receive research findings that will help them answer such questions as ‘What programming languages should we teach?’ or ‘How do our CS teachers’ qualifications compare with others?’ or ‘What CS curriculum resources are top rated by other teachers?’ or ‘How do my CS offerings compare to what is being offered at other schools?’.

In addition, attendees will better understand the access and equity issues within the K-12 CS education landscape and learn how they can help improve CS program access, quality, and participation for underrepresented youth.

While Couragion is a for-profit entity, this session will NOT include details about the company's product. Rather it will focus on disseminating research findings that will help all entities involved in CS education to increase their understanding of the CS landscape and to use data to refine their CS educational offerings. 

The following two infographics offer an example of the type of data that will be shared during the session: