UNI Partnership for CS Teacher Preparation

The University of Northern Iowa Partnership for CS Teacher Preparation is currently working with two cohorts of teachers from around the state of Iowa.  We welcome inquiries from additional school districts.

Originally founded in 2017 as a National Science Foundation Research Practitioner Partnership (RPP) the partnership is the recipient of a two-year CSForAll grant.  The goal of the partnership is to provide teachers with high-quality professional development in computer science while gathering evaluation data from the teachers and, eventually, their students.

The partnership began with an original cohort that meets in Cedar Falls from 2018-2020.  We recently began working with an additional, second cohort meeting in the Des Moines area for the face-to-face components of the course (2019-2020).

Through the partnership the University of Northern Iowa CS Education program provides instruction for five, three-credit, courses :

  • Foundational Concepts of Computer Science (Summer 2019)
  • Fundamentals of Programming (Fall 2019)
  • Teaching and Learning of Programming (Spring 2020)
  • Methods of Teaching Computer Science (Summer 2020)
  • Algorithms and Data Structures (Fall 2020)

All five courses will be a taught using a hybrid of online instruction/activities with periodic face-to-face meetings held in the greater Des Moines area.  In addition to being appropriate for license renewal, completion of all five courses will make participants eligible for the CS teaching endorsement created by the Iowa BOEE in April 2018.

Thanks to funding from The Principal Financial Group in Des Moines the cost for the Foundational Concepts of Computer Science course should be $263 including all tuition, fees, and textbooks.  The cost for each of the four courses after that is currently set at $1565 per course.  However, we continue to pursue additional funding for our program that would allow us to reduce this cost.

Furthermore, school districts are eligible to apply to the state’s CS PD Incentive Fund for additional support.  Four of the five courses will be taught during the 2019-2020 funding period.

School districts accepted in to the partnership will:

  • Identify at least one teacher per high school to participate in the program
  • Send at least one administrator and one school counselor to a one-day workshop fall of 2019.
  • Offer an “appropriate” CS course no later than the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • Facilitate the administration of research instruments (surveys, benchmark exams, etc.) to students in the CS class(es) offered by the district.
  • Share student population demographics and aggregate academic information (by gender, race, socio-economic status, etc.) at both a school and course level.

For additional information please contact Dr. Ben Schafer at schafer@cs.uni.edu or 319-273-2187.