KSU Receives Computer Education Boost with new funding from Google, Kapor Center
KENNESAW, Ga. (Mar 8, 2023) — BY DAVE SHELLES
Kennesaw State University’s Bagwell College of Education is enhancing its computer science teacher education resources, thanks to grants from Google and the Kapor Center.
Google’s grant will help Bagwell to expand computer science teacher preparation offerings, recruitment, and support, while the funding from the Kapor Center for STEM education will support work to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in computer science education.
“These grants will help us bolster our efforts in computer education and enable us to diversify the pool of educators in that field, both critical areas of need in Georgia and in the region,” Dean Adrian Epps said.
Jobs in computing fields are expected to grow 13% by 2026, yet just 46% of Black and Hispanic students say they have classes in computer science in their high schools, compared to 52% of white students. In addition, just 31% of female high school students say computer education is important, while 49% of male students feel that way. At KSU, these grants will fuel the effort to change some of those perceptions.
The Google grant will help Bagwell launch and attract educators for its computer science endorsement certificate and its computer science concentration within the Master of Art in Teaching program. In addition, the Bagwell College will hire a full-time administrator dedicated to recruiting undergraduates receiving degrees in education from Georgia’s historically black colleges and universities to KSU’s Master of Arts in Teaching program. Once here, students can earn a supplementary certification in computer science education.
“Google is proud to support KSU’s work to develop the computer science teacher workforce in Georgia,” said Shanika Hope, director of Google’s Education for Social Impact team. “Investing in educators is critical to ensuring students from every background can access a computer science education and the future opportunities this can unlock.”
For Google, this investment is part of a larger initiative to fund computer science education–focused nonprofit organizations reaching underserved students in major urban centers and rural communities.
Based in Oakland, California, and founded by Mitchell Kapor, the inventor of Lotus 1-2-3 so"tware, the Kapor Center is dedicated to diversifying education in STEM fields.
“The Kapor Center is proud to support Bagwell College in its efforts to build more equitable pathways into computer science,” said Allison Scott, CEO of the Kapor Center. “Higher education has a critical role to play, both in creating opportunities for students and in ensuring that the companies that wield such profound influence in our lives are informed by and reflect the full diversity of the communities they impact.”
Epps said Bagwell has a partnership in the works with KSU’s College of Computer Science and Engineering to enhance curricula, as well as a plan for outreach into local schools to improve computer science education through internships and communities of practice for STEM teachers of color in Georgia.
“At the Bagwell College of Education, we refer to our undergraduates as the educators of tomorrow,” Epps said. “These grants will allow us to become a leader in producing educators ready to meet the needs of their students in a technology-driven future.”