These days we interact with technology in ways previous generations never would have dreamed possible. The digital world has transformed everything from labor to leisure. Computer literacy is no longer optional. Sixty percent of all STEM jobs require or involve computing yet only 2% of Texas high school graduates take a Computer Science (CS) course. By 2020 there will be 1 million more computing jobs in America than graduates to fill them. Texas high schools are required to offer CS, but in the 2014 school year less than 15% met that requirement and only 14 teachers completed a CS certification program in Texas. The Texas system has more than 1.4 million high school students! Texas and the nation will need highly qualified educators to serve our children and the future. This online course is freely available to any Texas educator, thus bringing CS teacher Professional Development (PD) to every school district in the state and eventually throughout the nation.
The prep course reviews all the main concepts covered in the three certification domains: Software Design and Development, Programming Language topics, and Technology Applications.
Course content is released one week at a time over the six weeks it will take to complete the course. There is a required short diagnostic test at the beginning of the course that identifies areas where more study and practice will be necessary. There is also an important pre-course survey thats required.
Each week includes a set of instructional videos, interactive demonstrations, and other supporting content. Along the way, there are sets of practice questions confirm your understanding of the content. These practice assessments do not count towards the final course grade. At the end of each week is a 20-question unit quiz. Students will have three attempts on each quiz, and the quiz is due two weeks after the content for the week is made available. The six week outline is as follows:
|Unit||Start Date||Description||Unit Quiz Due*|
||Software Design and Programming basics
||Loops and Recursion
||More OOP, Algorithms and Big O (Oh my!)
* NOTE: Students can take the weekly quiz at any time during the week, and they have up to a week after the weeks content is released to complete the quiz. i.e. the "Due Date" is 2 weeks from the date that the content is released
The last week includes a 100-question practice final exam. But unlike the practice quizzes, students are only allowed to enter answers once.
The diagnostic quiz and practice assessment do not count towards the program grade.
The six unit quizes count as 80% of the grade. The final exam is worth 20%. A grade of 80% or higher is a good indication that you will do well on the actual certification exam.
To receive CPE Credit hours you MUST:
- Complete the diagnostic quiz available in week 1.
- Complete the CSC profile and survey in week 1.
- Score 80% or higher for the course.
When the course is completed and the above criteria are met, and e-mail notification including your certificate for 36 hours of CPE credit will be sent to the e-mail address used for this course. Please allow up to four weeks after the completion of the course for the delivery of the CPE certificate.
Those taking the Prep Course may use the discussion forum to discuss course concepts, problem solving approaches, interesting references, or other topics related to the course. One may use it to ask questions, but no solutions are allowed to be posted on the discussion forum or shared with any students at any time. If solutions are posted on the discussion forum, they will be removed and students will be reminded of this rule. Students who repeatedly post solutions on the forum may face consequences. Please observe the appropriate online etiquette as outlined in the Forum Guidelines posted in the course handouts section of the course information tab. The forum is moderated by course staff.