Computer Science Teacher Certification Requirements


CS Certifications by State

In 2013, CSTA concluded a major project to determine the current teacher certifications and endorsements for every U.S. state and the District of Columbia. You can download the report detailing the research and results here. Clicking on a state in the rollover map below will open up a PDF document with the certification report card for each state. Each state report card includes information on middle and high school certifications and endorsements, where computer science is a required course, and whether a computer science course can count towards a graduation credit (Math, Science, Elective, or Other). The report card also provides urls for key state information sites.

Our hope is that access to this information will assist current, pre-service, and potential teachers with information that will help them comply with state requirements, or determine those requirements for states in which they may be seeking employment. CSTA believes that this information is critical to CSTA members precisely because, in many states, it is nearly impossible for teachers to determine what the requirements are and whom to contact if they have a question.

Hover over a state to see answers to these questions:

  1. Is a Middle school CS certificate available?
  2. Is a High school CS certificate available?
  3. Is a CS course required for graduation?

The darker the state, the more of these questions are answered 'Yes.' Click on a state to download its full report as a PDF.




A Link Between Certification and AP CS


The CSTA Certification Committee feel it is interesting to note that there may be a link between strong teacher certification requirements and the number of students who write the AP CS A exam in each state. Both Maryland and Texas have strong teaching certification requirements and therefore it is interesting to look at the data from 1998 to 2008 and see what this might mean if other states adopt stronger teacher requirements. Maryland bucked the national trend and has steadily increased the number of students taking the CS AP A exam from 1998 to 2008.

MARYLAND
Year 1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
Students
337
480
571
599
623
673
725
752
808
895
1038

And while Texas did have a decline in 2003, the number of TX students writing the CS AP A exam has been increasing since then. Texas now has more students taking the AP CS A exam than any other state by over 900 students (Calif is second with 2135 in 2008).

TEXAS
Year 1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
Students
1266
1743
2110
2191
1980
2099
2167
2411
2593
2951
3224


2007 CSTA Certification Committee Report


Overview and Project Goal

Computer Science in K-12 schools is an area of increasing interest and concern to educators as well as to Computer Science professionals. Computer Science is an established discipline at the undergraduate and graduate college levels. However, educators and Computer Science professionals are concerned that K-12 students lack the opportunity to become well prepared to pursue an expertise in this area at the college level. This has contributed to the existing shortage of expertise in Computer Science related careers. In a recent article published in the Washington Post, Bill Gates, Chairman of Microsoft Corporation, stated that "Computer Science employment is growing by nearly 100,000 jobs annually. But at the same time studies show that there is a dramatic decline in the number of students graduating with Computer Science degrees" (How to Keep America Competitive; Washingtonpost.com).

The goal of this study was to gather information on the current state certification requirements for K-12 teachers of Computer Science, and compare it across states. This project is one of many currently being conducted by the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), with the goal of increasing awareness of the importance of Computer Science in the job market and improving the quality of K-12 teacher preparation. CSTA believes that addressing the current issues in teacher certification is a key requirement for ensuring that K-12 students are prepared to pursue a career in this area of demand.
 
Download the full study report here.



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CSTA works at many levels to support computing education.

Elementary and Middle school
(problem solving &
computational thinking)

High school
(computing &
computer science)

College/university
(enrollment &
transition)

Industry
(engagement &
preparation)