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Make Computer Science Courses Count Toward Graduation Credits in Texas

This petition had 675 supporters

Computer science develops students’ computational and critical thinking skills and teaches them how to create—not just use—new technologies. This fundamental knowledge is needed to prepare students for the 21st century, regardless of their ultimate field of study or occupation. Computer science courses should count toward math or science entrance requirements for higher education.

Computer science is driving job growth and innovation throughout our economy and society. More than half of projected jobs in STEM fields are in computing occupations; these occupations dominate “help wanted” ads; and computer science is one of the hottest degrees for new college graduates. In fact, by 2018, Texas will need to fill 715,380 STEM-related jobs, and 46% of these jobs will be in computing.

Current computer science courses often do not count towards a student’s core math or science requirements from high school – they are treated as electives. Given the academic demands, college-bound students cannot afford to take computer science as an elective. Further, higher education often does not allow computer science courses to satisfy a math or science entrance requirement. Counting computer science as a math or science credit would not require schools to offer computer science or students to study it; it simply allows existing computer science courses to satisfy a core requirement that already exists.

There have been questions recently because people think computer science counts as a math graduation credit in Texas already. This is partially true because AP Computer Science and Robotics Programming and Design both count as a fourth year math. However, this leaves out a huge number of courses that currently do not count towards graduation credit yet.

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