Which introductory CS course should we offer at our school?
Does South Carolina have state Computer Science Standards?
How should the K-8 CS and DL Standards be implemented?
The following SCDE Documents provide information and regulations for CS Education:
See Appendix Q of Activity Coding System Manual
The list above applies for all students who have not yet earned their CS credit. Yes, if a senior has not yet earned a CS credit, they must select a course from the new list.
Additionally, to reiterate, this list is not for rising freshmen only, it is for all students who have not yet earned their CS credit.
The SCDE offered flexibility for schools and districts who were not prepared to transition to the new list for the 2019-2020 school year. Districts who applied and were granted this approval can wait until the 2020-2021 school year to implement the new graduation requirement.
Computer Science education is currently included in the following bills for the 2019-2020 Legislative Session:
The SCDE releases information through memos as well as presentations to various education audiences. Below, we attempt to compile these communications for your reference. Note, the documents below are listed for your records, however they may not contain the most up-to-date information regarding computer science initiatives in South Carolina.
Over the past few years, the SCDE has seen a big push from national and state government officials, business and industry, Computer Science (CS) and Information Technology (IT) vendors, colleges and universities, and students and parents regarding CS education reform.
Here is a timeline of notable events over the past few years regarding CS Education in South Carolina:
CS education reform in SC directly aligns to President Obama’s national initiative Computer Science for All (CSforAll) which aimed to “empower all American students from kindergarten through high school to learn computer science and be equipped with the computational thinking skills they need to be creators in the digital economy, not just consumers, and to be active citizens in our technology-driven world. Our economy is rapidly shifting, and both educators and business leaders are increasingly recognizing that computer science is a ‘new basic’ skill necessary for economic opportunity and social mobility.” You can read more including many statistics from parents, students, educators, communities and other stakeholders at https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/01/30/computer-science-all
The SCDE convenes a committee to write elementary and middle school computer science standards.
The SBE approved revisions to the Required Credentials for Professional Staff Members allowing many different certification areas to teach Business, Marketing and Information Technology courses. More information available in this SCBEA Letter to Members.
The SCDE and the Education Oversight Committee release a Joint Task Force on Computer Science and Information Technology report with findings and recommendations regarding Computer Science education in SC.
The SCDE convened a committee to review the list of courses that fulfill the CS Graduation Requirement. Participants were asked to identify courses that would align with the CSTA definition of computer science that is recognized by the task force:
The Task Force recognizes the Computer Science Teachers Association’s (CSTA definition of Computer Science. CSTA defines Computer Science as “the study of computers and algorithmic processes, including their principles, their hardware and software designs, their applications, and their impact on society.”
Using the task force’s recognized definitions, many software applications courses currently approved would be defined as digital literacy courses, not computer science courses.
The SBE approves Computer Science Certification area.
The SCDE released Content Overlay support document for the K-8 Computer Science and Digital Literacy Standards.
The SBE removes "Keyboarding" verbiage from regulation 43-234 (Defined Program, Grades 9–12 and Graduation Requirements).
The SCDE removes Keyboarding from the list of courses to Fulfill CS Graduation Requirement for the 2018-2019 school year.
The SCDE convenes a committee to write high school computer science standards.
The SBE approves the K-8 Computer Science and Digital Literacy Standards and the Praxis examination for Computer Science certification.
The SC Statehouse Session 122 (2017-2018) legislative session closed with two pieces of legislation related to CS Education not passing.
House Bill 3427 – South Carolina Computer Science Education Initiative
At the close of the legislative session, this bill resides in the Senate Committee on Education.
Senate Bill 462 – High School Graduation Requirements
This bill attempted to define computer science courses as “courses that include computer design, coding or programming.” However, all verbiage pertaining to Computer Science was removed prior to the bill being passed.
The SCDE hosts the first ever CS Symposium in coordination with the Education and Business Summit.
The SBE approves the South Carolina Computer Science Standards for High School.
The SBE approves Guidelines and Requirements for Adding Certification Fields and Endorsements including requirements to add Computer Science certification.
The SCDE conveigned a committee of CS stakeholders and leaders to provide recommendations on the state’s CS initiative. This committee prepared a comprehensive report, Fall 2018 CS Planning Committee detailing recommended policies and actions.
The SCDE announces changes to the graduation requirement. The revised list of courses to Fulfill CS Graduation Requirement will go into effect for the 2019-2020 school year for all students who have not yet earned a CS credit. School districts were allowed to apply for a one-year waiver to postpone implementation of the new list to the 2020-2021 school year.
The SCDE hosts the second annual CS Symposium in coordination with the Education and Business Summit.
The SCDE funds Code.org Professional Development workshops through a partnership with The Citadel.
The SCDE partners with CSTA South Carolina and The Citadel to host SC’s inaugural CSPDWeek.
Yes, the State Board of Education approved a Computer Science Academic Certification at the January 2017 board meeting.
Additionally, candidates with industry experience may be eligible for Information Technology certification through Work-Based Teacher Licensure.
At this time, there are no colleges or universities in SC offering educator prep programs in Computer Science. So, initial certification is not available.
Certification must be obtained through out-of-state reciprocity or add-on.
Information about obtaining SC's Computer Science Certification as an add-on can be found in the Guidelines and Requirements for Adding Certification Fields and Endorsements. There are currently two pathways / options to obtain the certification:
The 2018-2019 Required Credentials for Professional Staff Members contains the requirements for teachers for the 2018-2019 school year. The SCDE has not uploaded the 2019-2020 Required Credentials document.
For the 2019-2020 school year, the following tentative timeline was presented at the Nov. 15, 2018 Instructional Leaders Roundtable:
There has been many announcements made by the SCDE at official meetings in regards to a 30-hour professional development requirement for introductory CS courses. The SCDE confirmed that this requirement will be reflected in the 2020-2021 Required Credentials document once it is released.
The SCDE informed CSTA South Carolina that local education agencies are responsible for maintaining documentation of the 30-hour PD for each teacher.
No. The following statement was in the March 15, 2017 SCDE Memo "Updated on Computer Science Standards and Content Preparation for Teachers:
"Teachers and classified staff identified by districts as being responsible for teaching the South Carolina Computer Science and Digital Literacy Standards will not be required to obtain any additional certification fields or endorsements to provide instruction in Computer Science in grades kindergarten through grade eight since these standards will not result in high school graduation credit. While the SCDE is developing requirements for an optional certification endorsement in Computer Science for teachers who wish to pursue deeper learning in the content area, this endorsement will not be required for teachers and classified staff in grades kindergarten through grade eight teaching the new standards. Rather, the endorsement will afford educators seeking additional training in the content area an opportunity to have this expertise reflected on their educator credential."
Learn more information about the Praxis 5652 test at the ETS Test Website.
WeTeach_CS hosts an online Foundations of CS for Teachers: Praxis Prep course to help teachers prepare for the Praxis 5652 exam. They have had great success in Texas with this online course.
There are six courses on the 2019-2020 Courses to Fulfill Computer Science Graduation Credit list that are introductory courses (without prerequisites).
As a general rule, CSTA South Carolina recommends either Discovering Computer Science or Fundamentals of Computing for most students.
Students will be exposed to introductory computer science topics with an emphasis on computational thinking and problem solving. Students will be empowered to create authentic artifacts and engage with computer science as a medium for creativity, communication, problem solving, and fun. Students will create their own websites, apps, and games.
This course is designed to introduce students to the field of computer science through an exploration of engaging and accessible topics. Through creativity and innovation, students will use critical thinking and problem solving skills to implement projects that are relevant to their lives. They will create a variety of computing artifacts while collaborating in teams. Students will gain a fundamental understanding of the history and operation of computers, programming, and web design. Additionally, students will be introduced to computing careers and will examine societal and ethical issues of computing.
AP Computer Science Principles offers a multidisciplinary approach to teaching the underlying principles of computation. The course introduces students to the creative aspects of programming, abstractions, algorithms, large data sets, the Internet, cybersecurity concerns, and computing impacts. AP Computer Science Principles also gives students the opportunity to use current technologies to create computational artifacts for both self-expression and problem solving. Together, these aspects of the course make up a rigorous and rich curriculum that aims to broaden participation in computer science.
Students will learn essential Information Technology (IT) skills and knowledge needed to perform common entry-level IT tasks. Students will learn to install, repair, configure, secure, and manage computer hardware, operating systems, and software in home or corporate environments. Students will learn common practices for troubleshooting a variety of computer issues and customer service techniques for assisting computer users with their respective problems.
Yes, South Carolina has state standards for grades K-12.
In May 2017, the State Board of Education approved the K-8 Computer Science and Digital Literacy Standards.
In August 2018, the State Board of Education approved the Computer Science Standards for High School.
Local schools and school districts will be allowed to determine how best to implement the K-8 Computer Science and Digital Literacy Standards into their instruction. School districts can determine if it would be best to integrate the standards into academic instruction by the primary grade level instructor and/or through a computer lab environment.