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North Carolina’s Computer Science Professional Development Program Opens for Registration for Statewide Trainings

Yellow and black graphic for the North Carolina Computer Science Professional Development program. Shows three children looking down at the camera

RALEIGH, NC- Registration is now open for North Carolina’s Computer Science Professional Development Program, which provides free professional learning opportunities for North Carolina educators using’s computer science (CS) curriculum. Facilitated by the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation and in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI), these trainings are intensive, highly supportive programs designed to prepare educators who have not necessarily taught or studied computer science previously. Educators across the state can now register at a training site near them to complete the computer science professional development that best suits their instructional needs.

“The Friday Institute provides high-quality, relevant training for teaching CS courses, utilizing its network of teacher trainers across NC,” said Eli Hamrick, computer science and IT consultant at NCDPI. “The extensive training can help new and veteran teachers prepare to teach the exciting AP CSP courses, among others, using the curriculum.”

North Carolina’s Computer Science Initiative aims to help students learn computer science concepts and gain skills to actively engage as informed participants in a technology-driven world. Even if students do not pursue computer science in secondary education or as a career, studying computer science teaches universal skills, such as problem-solving and teamwork skills that all employers seek.

While 90% of parents want their children to learn computer science, 63% of principals and 75% of superintendents report having no teachers with the necessary skills to teach computer science in their school or district. The need for educators with those skills became more relevant as NCDPI and the North Carolina State Board of Education added computer science to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study in 2020 and created the first K-12 computer science standards for North Carolina

Teachers who complete the five-day summer professional development training, plus three out of four quarterly workshops to be held on Saturdays throughout the 2023-24 school year, will be eligible to receive a $1,000 stipend. Trainings offer engaging workshop experiences; teaching and learning in context; a collaborative, participant-centric approach; one cohesive set of resources and an active community of computer science educators.

“It is important to honor the time that teachers dedicate to their professional learning,” noted Melissa Rasberry, director of the Professional Learning and Leading Collaborative at the Friday Institute who is overseeing this work. “We are grateful for our partnership with NCDPI, which will allow us to reward the many hours teachers will spend honing their craft and learning new content to keep their students abreast of critical 21st century knowledge and skills.”

The program will support educators with diverse teaching backgrounds as they prepare to teach any of the following courses or plan to integrate CS practices into their existing curriculum and instruction:

  • Computer Science Discoveries (CSD) – Targeted specifically for teachers of students in grades 6-10, this training takes a wide lens on CS and prepares educators to teach this intro course. Topics covered focus on problem-solving, programing and user-centered design, while inspiring students to build their own digital content. CSD can be taught as a single semester or multi-semester course, over a full-school year or integrated with other content units. Learn More
  • Computer Science Principles (CSP) – Designed for educators interested in helping students in grades 9-12 to explore CS connections to the real world. CSP covers a wide variety of computer science principles, creating the condition of CS concepts and how computing and technology can impact the world. Training provides accessible and equitable content for educators to share with high school students as either an introductory CS course or as a College Board AP course. Learn More
  • Computer Science A (CSA) – Computer Science A (or AP CSA) is the first AP course that was developed for high school students to learn computer science. Focused on learning and applying the Java programming language, AP CSA introduces students to software engineering and object-oriented design. Students should have taken an introductory CS course prior to AP CSA. Learn More

To bring professional development directly to educators, training locations have been spread across the state of North Carolina, including locations in Raleigh, Brevard, Charlotte, Fayetteville, Jacksonville and Morganton. Workshops are offered throughout the summer from June through August in various locations. Register now.

About the Friday Institute

The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation advances K-12 education through innovation in teaching, learning and leadership by bringing together students, teachers, researchers, policymakers and educational professionals to foster collaborations that improve education for all learners. The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation is part of NC State’s College of Education, one of the leading land-grant colleges of education in the nation.