Indiana’s largest producer of traditionally-prepared teacher candidates is planning to launch a degree program aligned with one of the top workforce needs in the state. Ball State University’s undergraduate degree in computer science education will combine computer science major and education core requirements in what President Geoff Mearns calls "a logical step" for preparing the next generation of educators in the state. He says it will fill a major gap as Governor Eric Holcomb pushes for computer science classes for all Hoosier K-12 students. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Mearns says Ball State’s response to the governor’s call has been swift.
The full degree program must still be approved by the board of trustees and the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. In the shorter team, Mearns says Ball State will also roll out online computer science "modules" for existing teachers and launch course-based outreach programs for elementary, middle and high school students. Secondary education students will also be offered a minor in Foundation of Computer Systems, which will involve computer science, analytics and software and hardware courses and could be part of an Elementary Education degree concentration.
"This new degree will continue Ball State’s commitment to increasing the number of Indiana students who graduate with basic computer science skills, making them better equipped to enter the workforce when they graduate high school," Mearns said. "Although we have training activities planned for current educators this summer, we realized this issue cannot be fixed by simply having events. We knew we needed do something more strategically which led to this new degree. Eventually, this degree will have positive ramifications both here in Indiana and across the nation."
During a Day of Coding-related event at the Statehouse earlier this month, Holcomb called computer science "part of the foundation of our future":
Ball State says nearly 80 percent of its teaching graduates in the May 2016 class work in Indiana. You can connect to more about the planned computer science program at Ball State by clicking here.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Mearns says Ball State’s response to the governor’s call has been swift.