The National Science Foundation has given Marquette University a three-year, $1 million grant to put around 200 Milwaukee Public Schools teachers through a computer science certification program.
The certifications will allow teachers to provide computer science courses to their students in MPS schools.
“This is another great opportunity for our city’s schools to work together toward the region’s future,” Marquette President Michael Lovell said. “Area business leaders tell me frequently about their need for people with high-level computer skills that this initiative will surely help create.”
The university will partner with MPS, the Computer Science Teachers Association’s Wisconsin-Dairyland chapter and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Computer Science Department to run the certification program, which will be held in the form of professional development workshops in the summers of 2017, 2018 and 2019 on Marquette’s campus.
“Our goal is to ensure all of our students have the skills they need to succeed in the workforce,” said MPS Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver. “Partnerships such as this allow us to provide new opportunities for our students to learn more about computer science as a career path.”
The grant will cover basic certifications for 75 MPS elementary school teachers and 54 middle school teachers. It will also cover 45 certifications for MPS high school teachers hoping to teach a high school level introductory computer science course and 45 to those hoping to teach an advanced computer science course. Marquette representatives said in a statement released Tuesday they expect there will be some overlap among high school teachers seeking certifications for both introductory and advanced courses.
“We should have enough teachers trained to cover every high school, middle school and elementary school in MPS,” said Dr. Dennis Brylow, an associate professor of computer science at Marquette who is a collaborator on the grant.
Computer science courses are currently taught at 10 MPS high schools. Those courses began after Marquette received a similar three year, $1 million NSF grant to certify approximately 80 Wisconsin public school teachers, including 16 teachers at MPS schools.