KINGSTON, R.I. - Today, a year and half after launching the Computer
Science for Rhode Island initiative, Governor Gina M. Raimondo
announced a new goal in fostering a competitive workforce: doubling
the number of computer science degree graduates in Rhode Island by 2025.
Raimondo made the announcement before a crowd of more than
2,000 students, educators, and tech industry partners at the CS4RI
Summit at the University of Rhode Island.
"Thanks to CS4RI, every single
student who goes through our public school system has a chance to learn
computer science," said Governor Raimondo. "Computer science is
essential for us to equip all students--no matter their race, gender or zip
code--with the skills they need to be competitive for the high-wage,
high-growth jobs that companies like Infosys, Johnson & Johnson and GE
Digital are creating in Rhode Island. By 2020, projections show that there
will be more than 2,500 open jobs in computer science. Our new goal will ensure
that our students can not only compete for those jobs, but start their own tech
companies and become the next Mark Zuckerberg or Jeff Bezos."
Rhode Island's computer science initiative is
among the most comprehensive and ambitious in the nation, with students in
kindergarten through grade 12 accessing a variety of computer science
opportunities. Since launching CS4RI in March of 2016, Rhode Island
has seen an exponential increase in computer science education opportunities.
In 2015, only nine high schools offered AP Computer Science and only 42 AP
Computer Science exams were administered, compared to 37 high schools and
247 exams in 2017.
All public schools are now participating in
CS4RI in varying capacities and more than 500 educators have participated in
professional development, with plans for continued expansion of course
offerings. Schools have a menu of options from which to choose, allowing communities to integrate computer science in a way
that makes sense for their students, building local educator capacity
and support along the way.
"Governor Gina Raimondo has led our state
to the front of the pack when it comes to computer science
education," said Ken Wagner, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary
Education. "In recent data released on college-level coursework, Rhode
Island emerged at the top of the list for schools nationwide offering AP
computer science opportunities. We are the state to watch, and I look forward
to growing that reputation as we continue to open up new 21st century learning
opportunities for all students."
In 2017, nine public and private colleges in
Rhode Island produced 817 graduates in computer science or related degrees,
compared to more than 1,300 open computing jobs in the state in the same time
frame. By 2020, it is estimated that there will be 2,500 computing jobs
available in Rhode Island. In order to double the number of computer
science degree graduates by 2025, Raimondo is calling on the state
computer science pathways into every high school in the state;
quality of computer science educators;
grow computer science programs at the postsecondary level;
Continue to drive
demand and momentum for CS education by increasing the number of CS4RI
anchor companies and increasing exposure to CS for students in kindergarten
through grade 8; and
science opportunities are equitable and closing key participation gaps.
Also at the Summit, Raimondo presented the
CS4RI Student Award to Tatyana Frost, a junior at The Met School: Easy
Bay, who developed a computer science course called Art of Code, which she
is currently teaching to other students at her school. Frost's project is
designed to get more young women involved in and excited about computer
For more information on current CS4RI
offerings and how to get involved, visit www.CS4RI.org.