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New York Institutions

Computer Science Certificate Coursework Guidance

At its March 2018 meeting, the Board of Regents approved the creation of the Computer Science certificate in the classroom teaching service. The related Regents item explains that the K-12 Computer Science Framework (2016) recommends that students learn about the following five computer science concepts in schools.

To earn the Computer Science certificate, candidates must complete a total of 12 semester hours of coursework in computer science that addresses content in the above five concepts. Definitions of the concepts from the K-12 Computer Science Framework are provided below to guide the development or identification of courses to satisfy the certificate coursework requirement.

During the 12 semester hours of computer science coursework, candidates must also learn the American Disabilities Act (ADA) website accessibility compliance requirements and how to code for accessibility. They must also learn and understand how computers can be used in educational settings to meet the needs of all learners, including those with learning differences.

Algorithms and Programming

An algorithm is a sequence of steps designed to accomplish a specific task. Algorithms are translated into programs, or code, to provide instructions for computing devices. Algorithms and programming control all computing systems, empowering people to communicate with the world in new ways and solve compelling problems. The development process to create meaningful and efficient programs involves choosing which information to use and how to process and store it, breaking apart large problems into smaller ones, recombining existing solutions, and analyzing different solutions.

  • Subconcepts include: algorithms, variables, control, modularity, and program development.


Computing Systems

People interact with a wide variety of computing devices that collect, store, analyze, and act upon information in ways that can affect human capabilities both positively and negatively. The physical components (hardware) and instructions (software) that make up a computing system communicate and process information in digital form. An understanding of hardware and software is useful when troubleshooting a computing system that does not work as intended.

  •  Subconcepts include: devices, hardware and software, troubleshooting.


Data and Analysis

Computing systems exist to process data. The amount of digital data generated in the world is rapidly expanding, so the need to process data effectively is increasingly important. Data is collected and stored so that it can be analyzed to better understand the world and make more accurate predictions.

  • Subconcepts include: collection, storage, visualization and transformation, and inference and models.


Impacts of Computing

Computing affects many aspects of the world in both positive and negative ways at local, national, and global levels. Individuals and communities influence computing through their behaviors and cultural and social interactions, and in turn, computing influences new cultural practices. An informed and responsible person should understand the social implications of the digital world, including equity and access to computing.

  • Subconcepts include: culture; social interactions; and safety, law, and ethics.


Networks and the Internet

Computing devices typically do not operate in isolation. Networks connect computing devices to share information and resources and are an increasingly integral part of computing. Networks and communication systems provide greater connectivity in the computing world by providing fast, secure communication and facilitating innovation.

  • Subconcepts include: network communication and organization, and cybersecurity.