School of Ed Offers Innovative Cross-Endorsement in Computer Science

A teacher with a student on a computer

The University of Bridgeport’s School of Education has launched a new Computer Science cross-endorsement program. “It’s exciting that teachers who graduate from UB focusing on Math or English or Social Studies can all teach Computer Science now,” says Nancy DeJarnette, Director of the School of Education. “We are one of the first schools in Connecticut to offer this cross-endorsement program.”

In 2018, the Connecticut State Department of Education adopted new K-12 standards for computer science, and asked Educator Preparation Programs to integrate it into their curriculum. “We have been closely monitoring these changes at the state level,” says DeJarnette. “We are really ahead of the curve.” Students enrolled in the university’s master’s in teaching certification program can either take and pass the Praxis II Computer Science exam or take four classes in Computer Science content. It is designed to equip them with the skills and pedagogy to teach computer science successfully at either the elementary (K-6) or secondary (7-12) level.

Working with professors in computer science Dr. Ausif Mahmood, Dr. Khaled Elleithy, and Dr. Omar Abuzaghleh, DeJarnette and Director of Assessment, Communications and Educational Technology Sebert Brooks adapted and revised four classes: Computer Science 101, 102, 329, and 472, in order to meet the standards. The cross-endorsement will be paired with the student’s licensure in either elementary or secondary education. 

The State Legislature is currently considering a bill to include computer science as part of high school graduation requirements, and in that case, UB graduates will be some of the first to be able to take advantage of this certification. Either way, it will increase their opportunities to get jobs. “Before this, the option was just not there,” says DeJarnette. “My son is a computer engineering technology major here at UB, but he couldn’t take computer science in high school because they didn’t have teachers to teach it. That’s about to change.” 

The university’s internship program works with more than 60 districts throughout Connecticut and New York to provide students with practical experiences in a local school. About 75% of our candidates choose to take this option. “They get that year tuition-free as they work in a school,” says DeJarnette. “This cross-endorsement can be added on top of their initial licensure program to expand their credentials.”

All four of the required computer science classes are available online or on campus. And, even better, recent graduates of the School of Education can also return and get the endorsement, too. “Our office is here to work with students to make this happen,” says Allison Garris, Assistant Dean of Admissions. “You really have an advocate on your side.” She points out that current and returning students can begin taking these classes as early as this summer.

If you are interested in this unique opportunity to expand your teaching credentials, please contact the Computer Science Cross-endorsement Coordinator, Sebert Brooks, at sebertb@bridgeport.edu

There will also be a virtual open house for the School of Education on April 24th from 10 am to 1 pm and interested students should attend.