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Free training aims to close workforce gaps in computer science

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Bossier Parish Community College’s Department of Workforce & Continuing Education will host Computer Science for Elementary School Teachers, a FREE, one-day professional development workshop for K-5 educators.

Three course times are available on Saturdays; March 19, April 9, April 23 or May 14 from 9:00 am-4:00 pm on the College’s campus located at 6222 E. Texas Street, Building D, Bossier City, LA.  Registration can be completed online at www.bpcc.edu/continuingeducation or call 318-678-6406New BPCC Logo

 

The free workshop is made possible by Code.org®, a non-profit dedicated to providing free training to educators in order to expand access to computer science and increase participation by women and underrepresented students of color.

 

The course includes supplies needed to implement the curriculum in a classroom setting and blends online, self-guided and self-paced tutorials with unplugged classroom activities that do not require a computer. Each course consists of 20 lessons. Completers will receive printed curriculum guide, certificate of completion, classroom supplies for the unplugged lessons and fun code.org swag.

 

Kristin Thibodeaux will facilitate the upcoming workshop at BPCC. Thibodeaux teaches at the Caddo Career & Technology Center in Caddo Parish, but also serves as an Affiliate for Code.org® where she received a training certification and serves as one of three computer science advocates for the state.

“I wanted my students to learn how to code and to expose them to that area of computer science since there’s such a demand for jobs within the sector.  Professionals in the field are predominately made up of white males, so there’s a need to grow the diversity pool of people who are writing code.  Code.org® seemed not only innovative but student friendly.  I attended my first workshop in 2015 and have been dedicated to the initiative ever since.” shares Thibodeaux.

The demand for computer science jobs is growing at a fast pace across the country, and there is concern that states won’t be able to keep up with increasing labor demands.  According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field will continue to grow at a rapid pace over the next decade.  There is a major talent shortfall in the state of Louisiana largely due to lack of exposure and access to computer science in the K-12 curriculum.  According to Code.org®, Louisiana currently has 2,612 open computing jobs, but graduated 319 computer science graduates.  Of those graduates, 19 percent were female.