Iowa Online AP Academy: Changes Coming to Computer Science

As many of you know, we introduced our first pilot course in Computer Science during this academic school year. Given the number of students interested in computer science, we are excited to expand our offerings to three new Computer Science courses, beginning in the 2016-17 school year through Edhesive (registration will still take place through the Belin-Blank Center’s website). Not only are we expanding our offerings to include middle school students, we are pleased to provide both new AP Computer Science courses:

  • Introduction to Computer Science (one semester, grades 6-9; students must meet IOAPA for MS eligibility guidelines)
  • AP Computer Science Principles (full-year, grades 9-12)
  • AP Computer Science A (full-year, grades 9-12)

What will these courses look like?

Edhesive utilizes a video-based lesson format to present content needed for labs and assignments. Students will also have the opportunity to interact with other students, instructors, and teaching assistants in an online forum for support any day of the week. As with all other Iowa Online AP Academy courses, students will have both an online instructor as well as a classroom mentor (generally a teacher at their school) available at the school for additional in-person support.  Courses should be scheduled as part of the student’s regular school day.  Mentors do not need to have content knowledge in computer science, as they do not deliver course content.  However, all mentors will also receive 24/7 access to Edhesive’s forums and complimentary professional development materials to help them more effectively mentor computer science students.

Why encourage students to take computer science courses?

Computer science opens up a new world, enabling your students to create programs that can make a real impact. If they’ve ever had an idea for a game, an app, or a better way to do something or help people, computer science gives them the tools they need to design, build, and create code and programs that can bring ideas to life. By 2022, it is estimated that there will be over one million open jobs in the US economy that are computer science-related, and that employers will struggle to fill these positions. Check out this video to see why learning to code is so important and how coding will open doors for your children in the future:

How do Edhesive students do on the AP exams?

Last year, students who completed Edhesive’s AP Computer Science A course achieved an average score of a 3.3 on the AP exam, compared to a national average score of 3.09. Scores above 3.0 are considered passing and are eligible for credit at many colleges and universities.

IOAPA registration will open in April. Until then, be talking with your students about whether IOAPA or Computer Science is right for them!

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