Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Arkansas State UpSkill Computer Science and Computing Course Pathway and Program Expansion

Memo Information

Memo Number
COM-21-118
Memo Date
4/16/2021
Memo Type
Informational
Unit
Central Administration
Regulatory Authority
Response Required
NO
Attention
Superintendents; Assistant Superintendent; Principals; Technology Coordinators; General Business Managers; Teachers; Gifted & Talented Coordinators; Curriculum Coordinators; Bookkeepers; School Counselors; Techstart Coordinators or Contact Name; Equity Coordinators (Disability/Race/Gender/National Origin); Data Stewards (SIS; eSchool; eFinance; TRIAND); District Coordinators (ALE; Homeless; ESOL; SDFS & Foster); Parent Involvement Coordinators/Facilitators; CTE Coordinator (COOPs and regular school districts)

Primary Contact Information

Secondary Contact/s Information

Memo Reference

No references available.

Memo Text

The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) Office of Computer Science is pleased to announce the expansion of our partnership with the Arkansas Public School Resource Center (APSRC) and Arkansas State University (AState) to deliver high quality computer science and computing concurrent credit courses through AState’s UpSkill program. 


UpSkill is an online learning opportunity administered by AState for high school students who desire to develop a variety of in-demand job skills. This program offers students an affordable, flexible and convenient learning experience to develop skills that expand their future opportunities in a growing digital world.


In addition to the Swift Coding pathway, which was launched during the 2020-2021 school year, AState UpSkill is adding two additional computer science and computing pathways - Android Development and Game Production & Development - that are composed of three college level courses each. Swift Coding, along with the two new pathways, will be available for students to begin in the Fall of 2021. Additional information on these pathways and registration directions can be accessed at: http://www.astate.edu/a/global-initiatives/outreach/upskill/programs/ 


The ADE Office of Computer Science is providing funding to APSRC to cover the enrollment and tuition fees for up to 250 high school students accepted into the UpSkill at AState’s Swift Coding program for the 2021-2022 school year.


Each program will be taught online in seven-week increments. Students will receive nine college credit hours upon successful completion of any of the three programs.


The ADE has approved all nine of these concurrent credit courses to be eligible for weighted concurrent credit in computer science. Schools enrolling students in these courses may use any combination of the following course codes for the nine courses (565810, 565820, 565830, 565840, 565850, 565860, 565870, 565880, 565890). In the interest of consistency and fairness, students that were enrolled in and completed the Swift Coding pathway courses during the 2020-2021 school year, may be retroactively awarded weighted credit using the course codes listed above.


Public schools interested in enrolling students for this one-of-a-kind program are required to complete the attached Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Once the MOU is completed, a school representative - either a school counselor or other designee - will need to help the student complete AState’s application for admission.


Completed MOUs and questions should be submitted to APSRC at 501-492-4300 or by email to Joie Ketcham at jketcham@apsrc.net.

 

 

Grant funding for this program is provided by the ADE as part of Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Computer Science Initiative and is subject to the availability of funding and allowable appropriation of funds.

 

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