New Jersey Get Grant Program To Increase Computer Science Knowledge for K-12

Computer literacy is incredibly important in our increasingly technological world, and educators need to be capable of utilizing this critical information to teach their students so that they can stay on top of the innovations in technological advancements. In a lot of ways, things have moved so incredibly fast that currently, educators may not be prepared to teach the most current information. This is an issue the Department of Education, as well as individual state-based departments, are trying to remedy.

Governor Phil Murphy has announced that an $800,000 grant will fund the creation of three education hubs for K-12 educators so that they can impart this knowledge back to their students. This grant program is called the Expanding Access to Computer Science Professional Learning grant:

The Expanding Access for Computer Science Professional Learning grant is a 100 percent FY20 state-funded initiative intended to expand access and opportunities for educators to participate in high-quality professional learning experiences in computer science (CS) education by establishing programs at New Jersey-based Intuitions of Higher Education (IHE) to accomplish the following outcome: Establish a network of CS hubs at geographically distributed New Jersey-based IHEs to provide high-quality professional learning opportunities to K-12 educators at all stages of their careers and promote the expansion of CS education at partnering school districts.”

The grant will fund three education hubs located in three New Jersey-based colleges and Universities, which will work together with K-12 school districts to discover the best ways to implement effective learning strategies in computer science. Each of these educational hubs will provide training to teachers, administrators, and other personnel that are involved in computer science education in K-12 education.

Here’s what Governor Phil Murphy had to say about the grant funding:

In order for New Jersey to be a leader in the innovation economy, we must invest in our educators who do so much to shape our children’s futures, Through this grant opportunity, our educators will develop the skills they need to provide top-quality computer science education to prepare our students for jobs of the future.”

This grant program is part of the Governors Computer Science for All Initiative: The Initiative has five pillars:

  1. Adopt Standards: Develop rigorous computer science standards in all grades that provide a framework for equitable access to a coherent, robust computer science program for all students in K-12.
  2. Implement Professional Learning: Develop and deliver flexible, accessible, and sustainable professional learning for educators and educator preparation providers.
  3. Strengthen the Teacher Pipeline: Establish initial licensure and endorsement pathways to increase the number of educators teaching computer science.
  4. Build Capacity, Partnerships, and Awareness: Engage with families, educators, higher education, school boards, and other community stakeholders to leverage partnerships and promote the state plan.
  5. Establish a Data-Driven Decision-Making Approach: Establish metrics for each of the goals to evaluate progress and remaining gaps; ensure the data collected can serve as a basis for establishing the funding in each of the next two fiscal cycles.

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