You are on page 1of 3


K-12 Computer Science

Education in Colorado
Computer s cience drives job growth and innovation throughout
our economy and s ociety. Computing occupations make up
two-thirds of all projected new jobs in STEM fields , making
Computer Science one of the mos t in-demand college degrees .
And computing is us ed all around us and in virtually every
field. Its foundational knowledge that all s tudents need. But
computer s cience is marginalized throughout education. 75
percent of U.S. s chools dont even offer computer s cience and
only 8% of STEM graduates s tudy it. We need to improve
acces s for all s tudents , including groups who have traditionally
been underrepres ented.

9 in 10 parents want their students to learn

computer science, but only 1 in 4 schools teach it.

Computer science in Colorado

Colorado currently has 15,913 open computing jobs (2.9 times the average demand rate in Colorado).
The average s alary for a computing occupation in CO is $92,337, which is s ignificantly higher than the
average s alary in the s tate ($49,860).
Colorado had only 489 computer science graduates in 2013; only 15% were female.
Only 661 high school students in Colorado took the AP Computer Science exam in 2015; only 19% were
female; only 57 were His panic; only 18 were black.
Only 35 schools in CO (14% of CO s chools with AP programs ) offered the AP Computer Science cours e in
2013-2014. There are fewer AP exams taken in computer s cience than in any other STEM s ubject area.

What can you do to improve

K-12 CS education?
1. Call on your s chool to expand computer s cience
offerings at every grade level.
2. As k your local s chool dis trict to allow computer s cience
cours es to s atis fy a core math or s cience requirement.
3. Vis it to learn more about
s upporting computer s cience in your s tate.'s Impact in Colorado

There are 1,448 teacher accounts and 53,346 student accounts in Code Studio in Colorado. has partnered with Denver Public Schools and Douglas County Schools .
1 Affiliate, offering profes s ional development for elementary teachers in Colorado, have already
trained 146 elementary teachers. has trained 0 middle school teachers and 10 high school teachers in Colorado to teach
computer s cience.

Computer Science is a liberal art: its something that

everybody should be exposed to and everyone should
have a mastery of to some extent.
Steve Jobs

What can your state do to improve computer

science education?
Here are 8 key policies that help to provide all s tudents with acces s to computer s cience. Read more about thes e
8 policy ideas at
Colorado does not yet have rigorous computer s cience s tandards . Computer s cience has often been
confus ed with broader technology education in s chools . States s hould adopt dis crete s tandards for computer
s cience focus ed on both the creation and us e of s oftware and computing technologies at all levels of K-12
education. The Computer Science Teachers As s ociation has model K-12 CS s tandards .
Colorado does not yet provide funding for rigorous computer s cience profes s ional development and cours e
s upport. States s hould provide profes s ional development res ources by creating matching fund opportunities to
bring computer s cience to s chool dis tricts .
Colorado does not yet have clear certification pathways for computer s cience teachers . The expans ion of K12 computer s cience education is hampered by the lack of qualified computer s cience teachers . We can grow
their ranks by creating clear, navigable, and rewarding profes s ional paths for computer s cience teachers .
Colorado currently has no incentives for ins titutions of higher education to offer computer s cience to pres ervice teachers . The computer s cience teacher s hortage can be addres s ed by expos ing more pre-s ervice
teachers to computer s cience during their required cours ework or by creating s pecific pathways for computer
s cience teachers .
Colorado does not yet have dedicated computer s cience pos itions in s tate and local education authorities .
Creating a s tatewide computer s cience leaders hip pos ition within the s tate education authority will overs ee
s tate-level implementation of computer s cience education initiatives . Similar pos itions at the local level could
s upport dis tricts expans ion of cours e offerings and profes s ional development.
Colorado does not yet require that all s econdary s chools offer computer s cience. States s hould adopt
policies that require s chools to offer a computer s cience cours e bas ed on rigorous s tandards , with appropriate
implementation timelines and allowing for remote and/or in-pers on cours es .
Colorado does not yet allow computer s cience to count for a core mathematics or s cience graduation
requirement. States that count computer s cience as a core graduation requirement s ee 50% more enrollment
in their AP Computer Science cours es and increas ed participation from underrepres ented minorities .
Colorado allows computer s cience to count as a mathematics or s cience admis s ion requirement at
ins titutions of higher education.

Follow us!
Join our efforts to give every s tudent in every s chool the opportunity to learn computer s cience. Learn more at, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Launched in 2013, is a non-profit dedicated to expanding acces s to computer s cience, and increas ing
participation by women and underrepres ented s tudents of color. Our vis ion is that every s tudent in every s chool
s hould have the opportunity to learn computer s cience.

Data is from the C onference Board, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the C ollege Board, the National Science Foundation, the National
C enter for Education Statistics, and the Gallup research study Searching for C omputer Science: Access and Barriers in K-12 Education.