On Tuesday, October 26th, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced the release of the Arkansas High School Computer Science Enrollment Numbers. During his press conference, he announced that, for the 2021/22 school year, 12,547 individual students in Arkansas are enrolled in at least one CS course. This represents an increase of 2,097 students (20%) over 2020/21 and 11,443 students (1,037%) over 2014/15.
A summary of the 2021/22 Computer Science enrollment numbers may be downloaded at: https://csforar.info/ARCSEnrollment2021
Additional enrollment report highlights include:
- 13,537 enrollments for the 2021/22 school year. This number includes all of the one credit course enrollments of the 12,547 individual students
- Over 1,000 students are taking more than one high school computer science course this year
- 12,304 (91%) of 2021/22 enrollments are being taught in a face-to-face manner by an Arkansas Computer Science endorsed or approved computer science teacher; this is up from only 53% in 2015/16
- 593 enrollments are in concurrent credit college courses; 152 of those enrollments are for weighted concurrent credit
- There was an increase at every grade level. The largest grade level number of enrollments are coming from the state’s 9th graders
- Over 750 8th graders are taking a computer science course for high school credit
- These enrollments are still because of voluntary participation, as the state graduation credit requirement does not begin until next year with the 9th grade class of 2022/23. More information on this requirement can be found at: https://csforar.info/Act414
These outstanding results are possible because of the educators in Arkansas who have stepped up to provide our students with opportunities that students in other states only wish they had. Since our initiative began, Arkansas has implemented a system that is recognized by Code.org as a clear pathway to licensure and alternative credentialing for computer science. Under this system, Arkansas has grown from approximately 20 to almost 600 state identifiable computer science credentialed teachers. Additional information on teacher certification pathways can be found within the document found at: https://csforar.info/CoursesandTeachers.
The ten statewide CS Specialists (https://csforar.info/specialists) have provided thousands of hours of training and support to Arkansas educators; their work is largely responsible for building the face-to-face teacher capacity, knowledge, and enthusiasm that facilitates the enrollment numbers our state is experiencing.
The Arkansas Department of Education Office of Computer Science would like to hear more stories about the excellent computer science work that students and teachers are doing around the state. Educators, students, and community members are encouraged to share their computer science education experiences with social media posts using #CSforAR and #ARKidsCanCode.