Topic: College of Applied Sciences and Technology

December 8, 2017

To create a larger pool of workers who are prepared to meet the needs of a 21st century economy, Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb wants all Indiana students to have access to computer science instruction. Ball State University is answering his challenge by working to create a new undergraduate degree in Computer Science Education. A team of Ball State faculty and staff are working closely to develop a degree that aligns with the Governor’s vision to link education to workforce training. Ball State’s proposed Computer Science Education Degree will provide the requirements of a major in computer science with the core requirements of an undergraduate degree in education.

“To be prepared for the demands of our rapidly changing economy, Indiana students need quality STEM instruction throughout their K-12 educational journey,” Gov. Holcomb said. “Putting computer and information science in every Indiana school is a big part of that. A new degree in Computer Science Education from Ball State University has great potential to help us get more teachers with computer science training into our classrooms.”

The proposed degree will build on Ball State’s existing computer science curricula. Students majoring in secondary education will be encouraged to pursue a minor in Foundation of Computer Systems. This minor provides 22 to 24 credit hours in computer science, analytics, software and hardware, and it can also be packaged as a concentration in the Elementary Education degree.

“I’m proud of our team at Ball State University who saw a major gap in Indiana’s educational system and came up with a long term solution,” said President Geoffrey Mearns. “This new degree will continue Ball State’s commitment to increasing the number of Indiana students who graduate with basic computer science skills, making them better equipped to enter the workforce when they graduate high school. Although we have training activities planned for current educators this summer, we realized this issue cannot be fixed by simply having events. We knew we needed do something more strategically which led to this new degree. Eventually, this degree will have positive ramifications both here in Indiana and across the nation.”

Ball State also plans to offer computer science modules online to assist individual teachers throughout the school year and develop course-based outreach programs for elementary, middle and high school students.

The new program still must gain approval from the Ball State Board of Trustees, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, and the college accreditor.