CHARLESTON, W.Va. - During National Computer Science Education Week, West Virginia State Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Michael Martirano is reminding students that taking a computer science course can help meet their graduation requirements.
Since 2013, West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) guidance states that an AP Computer Science course can qualify as a fourth-year math course requirement which counts toward graduation from high school. This is ever more significant as emerging jobs in West Virginia require knowledge in areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Computer science jobs are found in a number of fields outside of information technology including manufacturing, health care, finance, public health and social science research.
“In order to ensure our students are prepared for the 21st century world of work, we must focus on the development of STEM-related skill sets,” Martirano said. “We know the jobs of the future are going to require critical thinking skills in the areas of math and science I believe courses such as computer science can benefit all students regardless of what field they ultimately pursue.”
According to Code.org, a nonprofit organization committed to increasing access to computer science for students in the K-12 settings, computer science and programming develops students’ computational and critical thinking skills and shows them how to create, not simply use, new technologies.
“Investments in computer science education sustain American innovation. When students have access to these courses, they learn the skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Fred Humphries, Microsoft Corporate Vice President for U.S. Government Affairs. “West Virginia demonstrates leadership by making computer science courses count toward high school graduation and is reaffirming this policy during National Computer Science Education Week. We applaud West Virginia’s leadership on this important issue, in particular that of Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, State Board President Mike Green, and State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano.”
National Computer Science Education Week is designed to increase awareness among West Virginia students about job opportunities available in the computer science sector and advance STEM initiatives and programs in our schools. Throughout the week, a number of students will participate in an Hour of Code, a global movement that includes an introduction to basic computer science information, skills and practical activities – designed for students to explore computer and math science from a fun and engaging perspective.
For additional information, contact Kristin Anderson at the West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications at 304-558-2699 or Kristin.Anderson@k12.wv.us.