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IDoCode Educator Program

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teens looking at a computer screenComputer Science skills are in high demand. CS is a driving force behind many of the advances in business, science and math, and now even social sciences and art.  Idaho allows students to take dual credit or AP computer science as core math or science credit – providing incentive for students to explore the field of Computer Science. To address this opportunity, Idaho needs teachers trained to teach computer science effectively for all students.

IDoCode - Secondary Education Program


Prior Experience

If I have content knowledge, can I challenge a course?

Yes, credit can be granted for verifiable skills and learning gained through the experience.  Details can be found at: Credit for Prior Learning

  • Fill out the Prior Learning form and work with your advisor to initiate the evaluation process.
  • After filling out the form, contact Dr Amit Jain to work out the details of your portfolio assessment.

I have a Masters, am I eligible for the Masters of Arts in Education program?

Yes, up to 1/3 of the Masters credits may apply from your prior relevant education or computer science coursework.

  • Contact Amit Jain to determine which of your prior Computer Sciences courses are transferable: Amit Jain, (208) 426-3821.
  • Contact Julianne Wenner to determine which of your prior educational courses are transferable: Julianne Wenner, (208) 426-1615.

NOTE: There is a seven year window which spans all coursework required for the masters from the first course to finishing your degree.

Program Operations

Will classes be offered in the afternoon and evenings?

Yes, classes will be scheduled 4:30 or later to accommodate a teachers’ schedule. Classes will also be offered during the summer.

The registration system says I have not met the prerequisite - how do I register?

The system believes the class if full.

In this case, contact the professor and request a permission number.

The system believes you have not fulfilled the prerequisites.

This may occur in the fall semester if you are also taking summer session courses. In this situation, contact the professor to request a permission number to register for the class.

Do I need a special ID card to access the computer labs?

Yes, you will need an ID card with a “proximity sensor”. Be sure to request a Student ID card with a proximity sensor.

If you received a magnetic strip only card, you can take the card to the info desk in the student union to be replaced with a proximity sensor card for free.

Can I receive both the Graduate Certificate and Master degree?

Students in the CS Educational Master program should also apply for the Graduate Certificate as they have earned both. Be sure to apply for the Graduate Certificate program before you apply for graduation in the masters program.

If you were admitted directly into the Masters program, you will need to apply for the Graduate Certificate: Computer Science Teacher Endorsement at the Graduate College web site – how to apply.

CS Teaching Endorsement

Does Idaho have a "Computer Science Teacher Endorsement"?

The Computer Science Teacher Endorsement was approved Fall 2015. This approval creates a “Graduate Certificate” for teachers who wish to obtain an SBOE/OSBE endorsement to teach Computer Science in Idaho High Schools.

The Boise State University endorsement requires the teacher to successfully complete the course requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Computer Science Teacher Endorsement. Refer to the Idaho CS Endorsement page for additional steps required by SBOE/OSBE to receive the Idaho Endorsement in addition to the Bachelors or Masters CS instructional coursework.

Do I need field observations for the Idaho Computer Science Teacher Endorsement?

After finishing the CS courses in the Graduate Certificate, apply to the Professional Standards Committee at Boise State University. The committee will endorse the teacher to the State Department of Education based on the following:

  1. Evidence of positively evaluated teaching in current position
  2. Transcript review
  3. Passing the Idaho Computer Science Praxis exam
  4. Four observations using the Danielson Framework across a span of no less than four weeks

High School Instruction

Do I need to complete the BSU Computer Science Teacher program before I can start teaching the course material in my school?

The BSU CS teacher programs prepares High School teachers to teach Computer Science courses in their School. We encourage teachers to begin teaching Computer Science in their school before they complete the program.

The Exploring Computer Science (ECS) and CS Discoveries (CSD) courses provides a great opportunity to introduce students to computer science concepts. While the AP Computer Science Principles (CSP) course expands the students knowledge and provides opportunities for concurrent enrollment and High School Math or Science credit for graduation. These courses are designed to be engaging to a wide range of high school students.

Once you have completed the “CS 501 AP Computer Science Principles” course, you are well on your way to teach the ECS or CSD courses. Teachers may choose to supplement their CS 501 course work with hands on experience with the ECS or CSD curriculum. Idaho Digital Learning has hosted summer workshops with the ECS and CSD curriculum.

By the time you have completed “CS 503 Teaching and Learning Computer Science I” you have the foundation to teach AP CSP.

Does the Idaho Professional Standards Commission (PSC) have a computer science teacher endorsement?

Yes, Idaho does have a endorsement and the Boise State programs fulfill the endorsement requirements.

The ISEE code manual shows dual credit CS classes will count for Math/Science credits, but it doesn’t require the new CS Endorsement at this time. The Endorsement has been approved, however the PSC will make it a requirement at some time in the future.

Currently, BSU has a Masters teacher program with CS Emphasis and a Graduate Certificate in Teacher Endorsement that are approved for the endorsement.

Are the Exploring Computer Science (ECS) and AP Computer Science Principals (CSP) courses a sequence for students?

The ECS course is targeted to attract a broad diverse audience to explore a student’s interest in Computer Science. There are no prerequisites for this course.

The AP CSP course is intended to be a more in-depth discovery of Computer Science. The ECS course material would be useful to a student taking AP CSP; however, a student will be able to pick up the material after completing Algebra II. Thus ECS is not a prerequisite for AP CSP.

NOTE: The AP CSP course is comparable to the high school version of the CS 101 class at Boise State.

Is the Computer Science Principles course AP accredited?  Can students who take this course receive college credit?

The College Board has approved CSP as a AP curriculum beginning Fall 2016.

BSU offers concurrent enrollment for the AP CSP course as CS 101.  Concurrent enrollment can be obtained for students successfully passing the course taught by a BSU qualified teacher.

What are the equipment requirements for ECS and AP CSP courses?

Each student should have access to a computing device (e.g., Windows, Mac, Linux, Chromebook or tablet) device with internet access. This provides a number of possibilities a school might consider:

  • Schedule existing computer lab(s) for this course.
  • A number of schools have access to a laptop cart which can be scheduled for use. This allows the course to be offered without allocating a dedicated room with devices.
  • Other schools are considering the alternative of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device).
  • For larger classes, consider a hybrid model in which a schools laptop cart is used and students may choose to utilize their own device to expand the computer capacity for the class.

The teacher should carefully consider the computing requirements:

  • Each platform will impose different requirements on the teacher, a homogeneous environment can simplify the teachers work.
  • A keyboard and mouse are very useful when writing and editing code, thus a tablet alone may make coding more difficult affecting student interest and progress.

The ECS curriculum unit 6 is about Robotics.  This unit is optional, but may be an enjoyable unit to cap off the ECS course.

  • Some school districts have created technology grants – check with your district or the Idaho STEM Action Center regarding grant opportunities.
  • CTE certification provides additional opportunities for teachers to obtain money for classroom equipment.

What does the timeline for a new pilot CS course look like at the secondary level?

Each district has their own process, the few districts we have information on have a deadline for the initial pilot application around October 15th to pilot a new course in the Fall of the following year. Due to the differences in districts, it is best to have the Pilot course discussion with your Principal as soon as possible before October.

The curriculum committee will consider the proposal and provide their decision. In the Boise district, the decision is made before November 30th in preparation for upcoming student registration.

If the application is approved, additional information maybe submitted to the content area supervisor. This information may be similar to what the Boise districts requests by January 31st:

  • A detailed budget, including student fees
  • Course prerequisites
  • A course outline and assessment plan
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