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For Immediate Release 11.07.2018

Governor Hutchinson Announces 30 Percent Increase in Computer Science Enrollment

LITTLE ROCK – The number of students enrolled in computer science classes in the 2018-2019 school year is 8,044, a 30 percent increase over the 2017-2018 term, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced in a news conference today.

Director of Computer Science Education Anthony Owen joined the governor in the Governor's Conference Room for the announcement.

“This dramatic increase in enrollment confirms my confidence that Arkansans would embrace my initiative to promote computer science education,” Governor Hutchinson said. “Students understand that a solid foundation in coding will lead to good paying jobs. Since I took office in 2015, the initiative has moved Arkansas to the front of the pack nationally. We are strengthening our workforce, which sharpens our competitive edge in recruiting industry. As we successfully recruit new companies, we retain more of our homegrown talent.”

In the 2014-2015 school year, 1,104 students were enrolled in a computer science class; the 8,044 figure represents an increase of 620 percent.

Those 8,044 students are enrolled in 9,144 classes, which means many students are taking more than one computer science class.

The number of females enrolled in computer science has increased from 223 in 2014-2015 to 2,484 this year. That is an increase of 1,103 percent over four years.

Students, educators, and parents have played a key role in the success of the initiative, Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key said. 

Under this initiative, the number of teachers who are teaching computer science courses has grown from 20 to 372. This includes 184 fully certified and 188 alternatively credentialed computer science teachers.

“Strong computer science skills are critical to academic achievement and success beyond high school,” Commissioner Key said. “ADE is committed to continue our support of the initiative.”

Director Owen noted that in 2015, ADE set a goal to increase the number of students who are enrolled in a computer science class to 7,500 by the 2019-2020 school term.

“With this year’s total of 8,044, Arkansas students and teachers exceeded that goal in four years instead of five,” Director Owen said. “But we aren’t resting on our achievements. We will remain on the cutting edge of computer science education. Arkansas will continue this movement as we have from the beginning – no excuses, only results.”

The Governor would like to hear more stories about the excellent computer science work that students and teachers are doing around the state. He encourages educators to share their computer science education experiences with social media posts #ARKidsCanCode.

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