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TEACHER MAUREEN LOFT WORKING WITH STUDENTS AT LEO A . PALMITER JR ./ SR . HIGH SCHOOL , A SACRAMENTO COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION PROGRAM

SACRAMENTO COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION

Closing the Computer Science Skills Gap

Universities and employers expect and need people to have strong computer science skills for a great many highvalue occupations , but there is an enormous gap between the number of computer science training programs and classes in K-12 education versus what ’ s needed ,” says Matthew Perry , Ed . D ., assistant superintendent with the Sacramento County Office of Education . “ Our computer science initiatives aim to close that gap in the K-12 space .”
It ’ s a collaborative effort , as SCOE works with not only schools but also nonprofit and community-based partners . The agency is building a suite of services that supports school districts as they begin to implement college and career pathways in computer science , providing students with critical skills that lead to high-wage , high-demand careers . In California , 51 % of high schools don ’ t have any computer science courses .
“ Our five-spoke wheel of services includes professional learning , student programs , technical assistance , pathway development and curriculum ,” explains Jared Amalong , director of Computer Science Education . “ We host the Summer of Computer Science workshops for educators statewide as an example of professional learning , host summer camps for students lacking access to computer science in school as an example of student programs , and are helping expand capacity for six far-north California counties as an example of technical assistance .”
Every industry — from agriculture and healthcare to construction and manufacturing — will need employees with computer science skills . SCOE addresses this need by helping other county offices , school districts and teachers implement computer science programs to build capacity to achieve the needed scale .
“ It ’ s a long-term , large-scope initiative , but when we see an elementary school teacher participating in the Summer of Computer Science , for example , we see it come right down to the individual and ultimately to the student ,” Perry says . “ We aim to make the computer science skill set more universally understood as necessary , mainstream and accessible to everyone .”
“ We aim to make the computer science skill set more universally understood as necessary , mainstream and accessible to everyone .”
— Matthew Perry Assistant Superintendent Sacramento County Office of Education
10474 Mather Blvd . Mather , CA 95655 ( 916 ) 228-2500
scoe . net
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