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NDSU to offer online course for new computer science education program

Photo of Brian Slator

Brian Slator

Brian Slator, professor of computer science and operations research, has developed the first course for NDSU’s new Graduate Certificate Program in Computer Science Education.

The 600-level course, titled "Introduction to Computer Science Education," is intended for high school instructors who want to teach computer science. The course will be available online for 12 weeks this summer, scheduled from May 19 through Aug. 7.

“Lots of schools in North Dakota have key-boarding classes and Microsoft Office, but very few offer anything that resembles a computer science programming class,” Slator said, noting NDSU is developing an 18-credit graduate certificate program to give teachers the skills they need.

According to Slator, the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction published state standards for K-12 computer science education in 2019. Gov. Doug Burgum then offered support for in-service teachers wanting to cross-train as computer science teachers.

“We are hoping that eventually every K-12 school in the state will have at least one certified computer science instructor because we believe computer fluency is that important,” Slator said.

NDSU’s graduate certificate program will introduce computer-based problem-solving techniques using the internet. Such topics as website development, programming concepts, data structures, algorithms and modeling techniques will be examined.

Two courses are planned to be offered during the summer session, with registration opening in March.

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