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SUNY Potsdam Launches New Computer Science Education Program

May 4, 2021

As technology becomes more engrained in our everyday lives, there is a growing need for expanded computer science in our nation’s schools. Now, SUNY Potsdam is answering that call by launching a new Bachelor of Science degree program in computer science education, leading to initial K-12 certification in the in-demand field. 

“This new program draws on SUNY Potsdam’s long legacy of leadership in both teacher education—dating all the way back to our founding more than 205 years ago—and in computer science, as one of the first SUNY campuses to offer degrees in the field. We can’t wait to see our computer science education graduates go on to inspire young people and open up more pathways to success, starting early,” said President Dr. Kristin G. Esterberg. 

The program was developed to help meet the expected demand for certified computer science teachers in New York State, which recently added a computer science teacher certification. It is expected that many schools will be requiring computer science courses and be seeking certified teachers in the field, especially since New York City announced an initiative to offer computer science education in all public schools at every grade level by 2025, and since New York State announced a Smart Start program to expand computer science education. 

According to Code.org, computing occupations are the top source of new wages in the United States, but only 45 percent of high schools offer courses in computer science. To help close the gap in encouraging more people from underrepresented backgrounds to enter computing, studies also show the importance of opening up access by teaching foundational skills in high school and earlier. 

“SUNY Potsdam’s undergraduate degree in computer science education is a unique collaboration that brings together our cutting-edge education faculty skilled in pedagogy, with our innovative computer science faculty, deeply versed in content knowledge. We are excited to be one of the pioneer programs in the state and eager to provide our K-12 partners with an array of outstanding and diverse computer science teachers,” said SUNY Potsdam School of Education and Professional Studies Dean Dr. Allen Grant. 

Students will study appropriate computer science content, particularly in the key areas of the New York State K-12 Computer Science and Digital Fluency Learning Standards adopted by the Board of Regents in 2020. These standards focus on five key concepts: impacts of computing, computational thinking, networks and systems design, cybersecurity, and digital literacy. Students will also complete a parallel program in teacher preparation, including teaching methods courses and field experiences and student teaching in K-12 classrooms. 

The School of Education and Professional Studies at SUNY Potsdam has been preparing educators for more than 200 years. Today, that legacy of educational excellence also stretches to undergraduate and graduate programs in business administration, public health and human performance, to help students prepare for professions in the global economy. To learn more, visit https://www.potsdam.edu/academics/SOEPS/teacher-education

The SUNY Potsdam Department of Computer Science immerses its students in the nature of and limits to computation; the architecture of computer systems, networks, devices and languages, and their abstractions; the design of hardware and software systems as they apply to human endeavors such as scientific inquiry, information acquisition, visualization, language and leisure, and the engineering of complex software systems. A computer science degree prepares students for a rewarding career as a computer professional or for further study in graduate school. To learn more, visit https://www.potsdam.edu/academics/AAS/depts/CS

About SUNY Potsdam:  

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges—and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit www.potsdam.edu

For Media Inquiries

Alexandra Jacobs Wilke

jacobsam@potsdam.edu 315-267-2918

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