About Us

In 1984-85, the Mathematics and Computer Science Department initiated its first computer science education programs – a master’s degree and an undergraduate teaching minor.  In 1985 they hired Dr. Philip East to oversee the programs and teach the CS Ed courses included in them.  CSEd at UNI began with nine students enrolled in the fall semester of 1985.   In the early 1990’s personal computers became more available and the need for computer literacy for all students was recognized.  The failure to gain BOEE support for an endorsement in CS combined with an emphasis on computer literacy in K-12 schools led to the demise of the two CSEd programs.   However, the department continued to address CSEd in the state of Iowa.  Past endeavors include multiple CS4HS Workshops for teachers, training over 1300 Iowa teachers for the CS Fundamentals program from Code.org, as well as Scratch and robotics workshops for K-12 students.

In 2016, the Iowa Legislature considered (but did not pass a bill) requiring Iowa schools to include “quality” computer science in high schools and middle schools.  The idea was revisited in 2017 and a task force was commissioned to make recommendations concerning computer science education (CSEd) in Iowa schools.  The task force recommended that each Iowa high school offer a CS course and that each middle school require a CS unit.  They also recommended that the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners (BOEE) develop requirements for an endorsement in computer science and that the Legislature allocate funding to support professional development of teachers in computer science.

Our current program educates teachers for teaching general computer science—they could use any curriculum or develop their own.  The basic program consists of five courses specifically designed to prepare middle and high school teachers to teach introductory CS course.  These five courses have been developed using the CSTA standards for CS teachers and the Iowa BoEE endorsement requirements.  Teachers completing the five-course sequence are eligible for the 5-12 Computer Science endorsement (#278) added to an existing Iowa teaching license.

Current faculty in the CSEd program at UNI include: