To address the dearth of qualified Computer Science teachers, the Boise State NSF proposal leverages two existing degree programs.
- The first degree is the IDoTeach program at Boise State, which is a UTeach replication program designed to increase the number of secondary math and science teachers in the state of Idaho and surrounding region. A Bachelor of CS pathway through IDoTeach will be developed for CS majors, providing an opportunity for students to graduate with a BS in CS and qualify for a teaching certificate.
- The second program will be a CS-emphasis in the Master of Science in STEM Education targeting in-service teachers who are interested in teaching CS courses. The name for the pathways in the Bachelors and Masters degree programs is IDoCode.
Both degree programs will be incentivized by providing scholarships (either through this project or through other NSF funded projects at BSU such as the Noyce II program) with concomitant required secondary teaching participation after graduation. There is also a potential salary incentive for teachers to complete the MS degree program as they may earn about $8000 per year more than their Bachelors degree holding peers. In addition to the degree programs, the CS prepared teachers will be supported and can continue their education through workshops and mentoring programs, course materials and other resources that will be developed and made available online and face to face.
BSU along with local industry partners will work to reach in-service teachers in the high schools, recruiting them to enroll in the MS STEM Education program, and to reach high school students (potential pre-service teachers) to recruit them into the IDoTeach program with a CS emphasis. BSU will also work with industry partners to develop CS focused summer workshops, courses, guest speakers, and concurrent enrollment offerings for both the pre-service and in-service teachers. Findings and developed curriculum in the CS education field and STEM education networks will be disseminated through conference presentations and peer review journal articles.