Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Degree Level



Computer Science and Computer Engineering


Gauch, Susan

Committee Member/Reader

McKenzie, Sarah

Committee Member/Second Reader

Patitz, Matthew


The Arkansas Computer Science Initiative required every high school to offer at least one computer science course by the 2015-16 academic year. Schools that did not have a qualified teacher were given access to online courses. It is important to point out that students do not need a computer science course to graduate, but credit in a computer science course could replace a 3rd science credit requirement or a 4th math credit requirement (ADE / ARCareerED Computer Science Fact Sheet). Some initial success has already been demonstrated. In 2014- 15 there were sixty computer science classes offered in all of Arkansas. In the 2015-16 school year that number went up to 345 (ADE Data Center). However, this data does not indicate how many of those courses were offered online through Virtual Arkansas.

Due to this new legislation, the Arkansas education data provides a unique opportunity to track student progress before, during, and after the implementation of increased access to computer science curriculum. The goal of the program is computer science for ALL. It is well known, however, that women and racial minority groups are severely underrepresented in technology fields.


Arkansas, Computer Science, Education, High School, Computer Science Initiative