Frequently Asked Questions

Computer Science in Indiana

What happens if a school district doesn’t offer a course?
What are the consequence of not abiding by 2018 SEA 172?

There is not anything in SEA 172 that says what the consequences are. This shortcoming likely goes into the overall status of the school, and the IDOE should soon be providing more guidance. The minimum to be in compliance is to offer a single one semester course per year. It can be the same course every year, so just offering Intro to CS once per year would be enough.

At the K-8 level "accountability" will be through the science iLEARN in grades 4 and 6, which already have CS questions starting in 2018-2019.

What certification or licensure is needed to teach a course? What vetting is there?

There is a slide "Indiana Computer Science Licensing" in the presentation. The link "Licensing" on that slide goes to a page where you can click to see the licensing requirements for middle school, high school, or all. If you search (ctrl-f) for "computer science" and look at the courses where Computer Science is in the last column, these are the courses that the CS license can teach. For many of these, there are also some business licenses that are able to teach. And there is also a last bullet point on many that indicates math, science, and tech ed can teach CS courses if they have additional training (e.g., IndianaComputes, taking a college CS course, NexTech, etc.). I believe that in practice, schools can ask the state for exceptions if they don't have anyone qualified and willing to teach a course.

How is licensure for CS teaching done now in Indiana (e.g., trusted relationship between universities and IDOE)? Is Indiana moving in the direction of a state-wide standardized test for certification/licensure?

There already is a statewide licensure test. One of the links on the right-hand side of the "Licensing" link eventually gets you to where you can select Computer Education or Computer Science and see information about the test. The new CS test that will be active in fall 2020 is aligned to the Indiana CS standards. I believe it is, roughly speaking, AP CS Principles plus a bit more. If someone has a license to teach something and can pass the CS licensing test, then they get a license for CS as well.

Does CS cover a math requirement for students to graduate from high school?

On the "Indiana High School Computer Science" slide there is a bullet point with a memo from IDOE that states the CS courses which can be used to count for the third year of science for a Core 40 diploma. Note that CS does *not* count in place of math at all, and does not count in place of science for the general diploma (which only requires 2 years of science).


Does going through IndianaComputes! curriculum get a person CS licensure in the state of Indiana?

No, but licensing is 100% based on passing the CS licensing test. One of our top check boxes will be to make sure people who do the IndianaComputes! program (all the way through) will be prepared to pass the test.

Who can take the IndianaComputes! Program?

The program is available to any educator who has interest in the program. As long as we have capacity, we are happy to allow pre-service teachers (current education students still in college) and university faculty involved in education programs. Note that the course completion stipend and free graduate credit are limited to current Indiana teachers - see next few questions.

Will teachers get paid (i.e., is there a stipend)?

All current Indiana public school teachers who complete the year-long IndianaComputes! course receive a $300 stipend.

Who can earn graduate credit?

Current Indiana high school (grades 9-12) teachers can earn 3 graduate credits at Indiana University. These teachers complete the IndianaComputes! program and some additional differentiated work beyond the core program. Note that the credit is FREE, with a $1,500 value. A limited number of slots for free graduate credit for K-8 teachers are available. When registering for the program, you can indicate interest in the graduate credit, and we will follow up with you.

What are the time requirements for IndianaComputes!? What if I am not available a given week?

The program is organized into modules, with a module being designed to take roughly 3 hours over the course of one week to complete. All instructional content is provided so that it can be browsed and worked on asynchronously. A suggested schedule will be followed, but with flexibility for teachers to spend more or less time on the program depending on their schedule each week. Synchronous sessions will include Q&A on the content and assignments and discussion of content and how to integrate in your classroom.

Do teachers earn Professional Growth Points (PGP)? How many?

Teachers who participate will be issued certificates by IndianaComputes for the PGP earned based on the number of hours completed. The full program is spread over roughly 20 modules, with each module taking about 3 hours to complete.

How long is the program?

The program runs over a calendar year. Between June and the end of the year, the core content modules will be completed. Modules in the new year focus on broadening participation, assessment, etc. Towards the end of the program teachers will be completing capstone work integrating the content into their coursework.

Can a teacher start the program late? What if I need to take a break or do not finish the program?

We are still taking new registrations and will continue to do so as long as possible. There is no penalty for signing up and then not completing the program. If you are interested then you should register. If you have a disruption and need to take a break from the program let us know. If you do not complete the program you would be issued a PGP certificate for the amount completed but also would not receive the $300 stipend.

Are sessions recorded? Are they secure?

Coaching sessions take place on the Zoom platform through Indiana University and the University of Notre Dame. Sessions are not recorded and are protected with passwords, individual meeting ids, waiting rooms, and other recommended security settings.

Can teachers work together?

Teachers are highly encouraged to have a "buddy" or few to work through the program together. IndianaComputes provides help / assistance / coaching. We also know that many people learn better by having their own small "community" to work with. The program is based on mastery, and we encourage anything that helps teachers towards mastery!

Are all sessions throughout the year going to be offered online? Or will we have to meet in person at some point?

Sessions during the summer are all online. We will determine how the fall and spring sessions will work once we have more information about how schools will operate. We will make an announcement to participants about the fall/spring schedule once these decisions have been made. We will make every effort to accommodate your needs.

How much of the coursework will require practical application with active student groups? Can those not actively teaching (e.g., building administrators) participate?

Any interested educators can participate. The first modules focus on building content knowledge, which does not require engaging current K-12 students. Later modules focus on pedagogy, building portfolios, etc. For these later modules we will make sure all can participate, including those not currently in the classroom.

What other IDOE programs/support is there? Who else is funded by IDOE for this kind of work?

The IDOE website shows options for professional development, one of which is IndianaComputes! Note that teachers can take part in more than one of the programs if they would like to.