4 Reasons Why We Make Commitments to CSforALL
Computer Science for All (CSforALL) is a bold initiative to empower all US students to learn computer science and gain valuable skills that will benefit them in college, future careers, and beyond. Each year, CSforALL hosts a summit during which national thought-leaders and organizational partners meet to share and learn strategies for equity, removing barriers to access, and building meaningful engagement for all students in computer science education.
At the CSforALL Summit, organizations from across the country highlight their commitments to the CSforALL movement. CSforALL commitments are new, specific, and measurable actions aimed at advancing the goal of rigorous and inclusive computer science education for all US youth, and are designed to grow support and momentum for a sustainable K-12 computer science education system in and out of school. In 2022, 136 organizations including VHS Learning made 180 commitments to the movement.
Since 2016, VHS Learning has made annual pledges to the CSforALL movement by launching partnerships and courses that support computer science access for all. This movement is important to us because we believe every student deserves equitable access to educational choices that help them develop critical thinking skills and prepare them for future success.
Here are four reasons we make commitments to CSforALL year after year:
- Increases access to computer science courses
Many schools lack the funds and expertise to teach computational skills to their students. According to the 2022 State of Computer Science Education report, “53% of U.S. high schools offer foundational computer science, but disparities in access persist. . . Rural schools, urban schools, and schools with high percentages of economically disadvantaged students continue to be less likely to offer foundational computer science.” Supplemental courses and access to computer science curriculum enables students––particularly those in underserved and rural communities––to pursue opportunities they would not otherwise have access to. VHS Learning makes commitments to CSforALL to help increase access to computer science courses for new demographics that cannot currently access this curriculum in their area.
- Prepares students for college, their careers, and other future endeavors
Over eight million STEM jobs represent 6.2% of the US workforce and are estimated to support nearly 70% of the economy. These numbers are projected to increase in the future, so choosing a career in STEM disciplines can provide students with growing opportunities and long-term career stability. Our CSforALL commitments aim to provide students with valuable––and marketable––computer science skills that will increase their opportunities for college and future careers.
- Teaches widely applicable skills
Computer science teaches valuable problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration skills that are transferrable across all disciplines. In addition to the scientific and creative thinking skills that students gain in other STEM subjects, computer science helps students develop logic and computational thinking skills that students can continue to grow and apply to their learning in college and future career opportunities.
- Improves students’ digital security awareness and online safety
We’ve been teaching students about online safety for many years, but in today’s digital age, cybersecurity is a growing concern for schools, students, and other organizations as more personal data is collected each day through our online interactions. It’s important for students to be aware of their digital footprint and security and consider how they can protect themselves online. By participating in a computer science curriculum, students gain a greater depth and understanding of how digital information and data is collected, stored, and used.
Here at VHS Learning, we’re proud to make our continued commitments to CSforALL, supporting the ongoing movement to increase access to computer science for students across the country. This year, we will expand our computer science catalog with Python Programming and offer 50 students from rural/underserved high schools across the US free enrollment in any of our online computer science courses, including AP® Computer Science Principles, AP® Computer Science A, Python Programming, Cybersecurity, and Web Design. VHS Learning will provide all necessary course materials, including a student orientation, and courses will be taught by certified computer science teachers.