Thursday, May 24, 2018

Why Don’t Universities Require Computer Science?

We talk a lot about requiring computer science as a high school graduation requirement. It is an issue that is not without controversy. (Should Palo Alto students be required to study computer science?) While discussing that article in a Facebook group Mark Guzdial asked an interesting question.

Why are we talking about making CS a high school grad requirement when it’s not yet an undergrad requirement at most schools. Why is it so important at the high school level but not at all at the undergrad level?

It’s a fair question. Shouldn’t colleges and universities require some computer science as part of their general education requirements? If it is important for all high school students, and I think it is, isn’t it even more important for university students? At the university level, students should be able to learn even more and go deeper as well.

This might also have a side benefit of driving more K-12 computer science as school work to prepare students for something they know they have to study in post secondary education.


Mike Zamansky said...

There don't seem to be too many really specific college requirements. Other than freshman writing, other requirements, at least in Arts and Science schools are categorized so that a student has to take 1 from bucket a, 2 from bucket b etc. So, would CS be placed in an existing bucket or would CS be special and all kids would have to take a specific course.

If a specific CS course isn't required then we're likely to see the evolution of joke CS courses to check the box.

Alfred Thompson said...

Computer science was one of the options that I had to take two course from. Ironically I took the CS to avoid math. Little did I know ...

Garth said...

Why would we assume our hs grads are going to college? CS should be a hs requirement no matter what their career direction.