We firmly believe that all high school students should take AP Computer Science Principles and have the opportunity to take AP Computer Science A so they can explore the impacts of computing on their lives and develop foundational computing skills that are essential for their future coursework and careers.
The UTeach CS curriculum is designed to be inclusive and accessible for all students – but first, students must register for a course! Teachers, counselors, administrators, and families play a critical role in encouraging students to try computer science. We have developed resources to support equitable participation in computing education through active and inclusive student recruitment strategies.
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Recruitment Resources from UTeach CS
Here are four helpful recruitment strategies, based on recommendations from the College Board and the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT):
Invite students individually. Have a personal conversation with students on a one-to-one or one-to-few basis about how CS can affect their lives and their future careers. Relate the course material to their personal interests and explain the benefits of creativity, collaboration, and computational thinking in their future endeavors.
Recruit groups of students. Students fearful of trying something new are more likely to step out of their comfort zone with a friend or group of friends. Targeting specific, existing groups in your school, such as sports teams or academic clubs, can be effective to bolster students’ confidence about taking CS together. You can also visit other classes to recruit students and bring your current CS students to share some of the fun projects they've created.
Reach out to parents. Email information about your course, distribute flyers at school-wide events, or have conversations with parents to help them understand the importance of CS in their children’s future. Explain that programming and computational thinking skills are essential for future studies and most modern careers.
Talk to counselors. AP CS Principles is an inclusive course that was purposefully designed to engage all students in computer science. Let counselors know about the minimal prerequisites and that the course will benefit both students who are new to computing and students with previous programming experience. Every student should try computing in the foundational Computer Science Principles course and any student can master the basics of programming in the more advanced Computer Science A course.
Resources from the College Board
Resources from NCWIT (National Center for Women & Information Technology)