Thanks to an over $35,000 grant from the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), UALR will be providing a specialized professional development opportunity for teachers this summer. Led by Computer Science Professor Kenji Yoshigoe, the new program will focus on computer science content delivery for high school educators.
Teachers from all over the state will be able to attend the eight-week program, which will take place at the Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology. The $35,335 grant enables Yoshigoe and his team to host the training at no cost to attendees. UALR’s Dr. Chia-Chu Chiang, graduate assistant Suzan Anwar, and UALRTeach Master Teacher Sandra Leiterman are partnering with Yoshigoe to facilitate the program. Using activity-based lessons, the team will help teachers prepare to earn their computer science teaching certification, a mandatory state requirement for individuals hoping to teach high school level computer science content.
Yoshigoe, Chiang, Anwar, and Leiterman intend for the teachers to leave with more than just new classroom tools. In their proposal, the team listed the following as their first program goal: “To enhance participants’ professional identity as computer science teachers”. The sessions will be a place where otherwise unconnected computer science educators can be in community together, learning from, sharing with, and supporting each other. As an added incentive, the teachers who attain the ADE Computer Science Endorsement (or ADE Provisional License in Computer Science) and who support the instruction of one or more of the approved ACT 187 courses for the 2016-2017 school year will receive a stipend.