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For Immediate Release 10.31.2016

Gov. Hutchinson Announces 5,500 Students Taking Computer Science Courses; Nearly 40% Growth

Large Increase Among Female and Minority Students

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced a dramatic increase in the number of high school students enrolled in computer science classes in Arkansas. The newest numbers from the Arkansas Department of Education show an increase of 1,527 students, bringing the total enrollment number to 5,500 students for 2016-2017 school year with 1,027 students taking more than one course. That’s an increase of 38.4% over the 2015-16 school year (3,973 students enrolled) and an increase of 398% over the 2014-15 school year.

A closer look at the numbers reveal a sizeable increase among key demographics, including:

  • 49% increase in the number of females enrolled
  • 34% increase in the number of minority students enrolled

In 2015, Governor Hutchinson set a four-year goal of seeing at least 6,000 high school students enrolled in a computer science course each year. As a way of promoting computer science education around the state, the Governor recently completed his second annual computer coding tour of Arkansas high schools. You can view the video recapping the tour HERE.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“This is welcome news and further proof that Arkansas continues to lead the country in computer science education. I am pleased with the enthusiasm our school districts – especially our teachers – have demonstrated in this endeavor. That enthusiasm is clearly having an effect on our students who are discovering the endless possibilities computer science and coding have to offer. Any student with a basic knowledge of computer programming will never lack opportunity. 

“I’m proud of the long list of items we’ve accomplished in my first two years as Governor, but our computer science initiative could have the greatest long-term impact on our state. Today, these numbers send a loud and clear message to the rest of the country: If you’re a tech company looking for a new home or expansion opportunity, Arkansas is positioning itself as the next great frontier in the tech industry.”

Anthony Owen, Coordinator of Computer Science for the Arkansas Department of Education, issued the following statement:

“As Arkansas continues to be considered by other states a leader in the #CSforALL initiative, our citizens should celebrate the state’s internal successes in the #ARKidsCanCode initiative which will benefit our students, industries, and communities for years to come. This second consecutive year of substantial enrollment growth in high-quality computer science courses once again demonstrates the hard work and commitment from our schools and students and should be recognized and commended. Without committed programs, quality teachers, and motivated students, this initiative could not be successful. Continued growth and enthusiasm for the initiative would not be possible without Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s vision, support from the legislature, Commissioner Johnny Key’s leadership, and the enthusiastic cooperation of numerous state agencies and their dedicated employees. Arkansas remains dedicated to continuing to be a leader in this computer science education by supporting sustained program growth and success in future years in our state.”

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