Computer science is a viable career path and Black children will have a leg up in it thanks to a new program.
CSforDetroit recently announced the formal launch of its CSforDetroit initiative, a multi-year initiative, supported by Kapor Foundation, Google.org, Song Foundation, and CSforALL’s Accelerator Program.
The program will provide year-round computer science learning opportunities for Detroit students, and professional learning access for teachers and administrators.
“The CSforDetroit initiative has long been overdue to bring equitable computing education to young people in Detroit,” said Dr. Aman Yadav, Lappan-Phillips Professor of Computing Education in the College of Education and College of Natural Science at Michigan State University in a news release. “Led by Kapor Foundation’s leadership and vision, a coalition of stakeholders and organizations are coming together to bring culturally responsive and community-driven computing education in formal and informal spaces. This work will be transformative, especially for K-12 educators who will get access to comprehensive professional learning opportunities.”
On average, computer science roles pay more $80,000 a year, but only 2,639 CS graduates are prepared to fill these positions, according to data presented by CSforDetroit. What’s more, the organization highlights that just 46% of Michigan high schools provide computer science courses, and Black, Latinx, Native students, low-income students, and girls aren’t likely to have access to the few programs that are even available.
“K-12 computer science education not only empowers students with essential digital skills but also nurtures innovation, problem-solving, and paves the way for a brighter future for all while strengthening our Michigan communities,” said Cheryl Wilson Computer Science Consultant, Educational Technology Unit, Office of Systems, Evaluation, and Technology at Michigan Department of Education.
“We are eager to see the transformative impacts this initiative will have on our educators, students, and their families, as we embark on new community-based approaches that aim to encourage and increase participation for all Detroit K12 students in computer science education,” said Leenet Campbell-Williams, Assistant Superintendent at Detroit Public Schools Community District in a statement. “This new partnership will further empower our community to become creators, leaders, and innovators in an ever-evolving tech-driven world and shape Detroit’s technological landscape for years to come.”