Indiana State University Newsroom

Indiana State collaborates to help students meet state computer science goals

July 31, 2019

Computer science department chairs from several Indiana universities and colleges -- including Indiana State University -- have formed a Computer Science Advisory Board to help meet state goals for computer science education. "Indiana State University is very excited to be part of the changes happening to computing education in K-12," said Jeff Kinne, assistant chairperson of the mathematics and computer science department at Indiana State. "Momentum for increased computing education in K-12 has been building for many years, sparked in large part due to the efforts of the national organization Indiana has been at the forefront of these changes and adopted statewide standards for computer science in K-12, assesses computer science on the iLEARN test that all students take, requires starting in 2021 that all high schools offer at least one course in computer science and has allocated state funds to help train teachers to teach computer science."

As a response to the need to train K-12 teachers in computer science, Indiana State is working to develop a minor in computer science education. It will allow State education majors to become licensed to teach computer science.

"Our collective mission is to extend teacher professional development programs, addressing current opportunity gaps for Indiana teachers, students and industry partners," said board co-founder Esfan Haghverdi, executive associate dean for undergraduate education at Indiana University's School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering. The priority is to help pave computing pathways at the high school level, smoothing the student transition from high school to career launch. The advisory board will serve school districts, teachers, students and industry partners by focusing on high-demand career courses, adding capacity to college board course training and establishing dual-credit pathways for coursework in advanced programming, cybersecurity, software engineering and data science.

At the middle school and elementary levels, the advisory board will add capacity to teacher training programs and expand outreach activities that target teachers, students and families. Goals include hosting K-8 cybersecurity teacher workshops and assisting schools in the development of assessable, grade-level alignment to the computer science state standards, with curriculum cross-walked to other subject standards. To be effective, the advisory board programs will support the state's strategic STEM plan, said board co-founder Karen Morris, program director of the University of Notre Dame AP-TIP IN Program. The board can help integrate computer science into STEM coursework from the ground up, which will accelerate the state goal of achieving national recognition in preparing a career ready, STEM-skilled workforce. Advisory board institutions add immediate capacity at geographic regions around the state. Although some of the participating institutions have scheduled the advisory board programs to begin in the fall, many board members already have initiatives underway. News about recently initiated programs from partners such as Indiana State, Ball State, Goshen College, Hanover College, Indiana Wesleyan, IU, IU Northwest, IU South Bend, IUPUI, Purdue Fort Wayne, and Notre Dame will be coming in the near future.

The advisory board has partnered with the Indiana Department of Education to host the state's third-annual Computer Science Education Summit with the goal of supporting collaboration and networking among all stakeholders in computer science education, including higher education. Called Flipping the Switch, the summit brings together teachers, administrators, counselors, industry partners and university faculty to collaborate, share best practices and deepen Indiana Computer Science. Register at


Contact: Jeff Kinne, associate professor and assistant chairperson of computer science, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Indiana State University,