South Carolina Among Nation's Leaders in Computer Science Education

Wednesday, October 21st, 2020, the Computer Science Teacher Association, and the Expanding Computing Education Pathways Alliance, released the 2020 State of Computer Science Education report. The report shows South Carolina continues to be on the cutting edge in Computer Science policy and as a result, student participation is among the fastest growing in the nation.

“The Computer Science industry has become more prevalent than ever with the current use of modern technology,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “South Carolina remains dedicated to ensuring our high school graduates are prepared for the workforce available in our state and nation. I am extremely proud of the Computer Science policies we have put in place in our state that have led to an extraordinary amount of interest, growth, and participation among our students guaranteeing a strong, skilled workforce for years to come.”

South Carolina continues to rival the nation’s best when it comes to computer science in the classroom. A few of the highlights reported are:

  • South Carolina is the only state in the country with a full year, one credit graduation requirement in computer science.

  • The percentage of high schools in South Carolina that teach computer science increased from 69% in the 2018-2019 school year to 80% in the 2019-2020 school year, which ranks 4th in the nation.

  • The fiscal year 2020 budget signed by Governor McMaster allocated $500,000 to teacher professional development with a strong emphasis on computer science.

In 2017, South Carolina became one of just six states to adopt computer science standards with the passage of the South Carolina Computer Science and Digital Literacy Standards for grades K-8. In 2018, South Carolina adopted high school computer science standards making the standards span the full K-12 spectrum.

South Carolina has adopted seven of the nine policies recommended by the Advocacy Coalition.

The report also shows that 35% of Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science exam test-takers were underrepresented minority students, an increase of 11% from the previous year. 32% of the test-takers were female, increasing by 3% from the previous year. Students who take an AP Computer Science exam are more likely to have Computer Science courses in college. Additionally, states that have adopted more of the nine policies have a greater percentage of high schools teaching computer science, and also have an increase in the representation of female students taking AP computer science exams.

The full report can be viewed by visiting this link.