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Teachers Can Earn Computer Science Certification Under New PDE Guidelines


Harrisburg, PA - Building on the Wolf Administration’s efforts to create a 21st century workforce, the Department of Education has released new guidelines for the state’s colleges and universities to use to train students in teacher preparation programs to become certified computer science (CS) instructors.

“The majority of new jobs will require someone to use technology. To teach those important skills we need more educators trained in teaching computer science,” said Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera. “These guidelines will help our college and universities to develop programs for teachers. In turn, we will prepare people with the technology skills for high-growth jobs in emerging industries that will support middle-class families and attract new businesses to the commonwealth.”

Computer science courses are currently taught by teachers with certificates in Math; Science; Technology Education; and Business, Computer and Information Technology. The Framework for Computer Science 7-12 Guidelines establishes a new certification pathway and outlines subject-specific competencies student teachers are expected to master and demonstrate as they begin their careers, including algorithms and programming, data and analysis, network communication and cybersecurity.

With the new guidelines, colleges and universities could have curriculums in place by this fall and graduate the commonwealth’s first teachers with computer science certificates as early as spring 2021. 

The guidelines were derived from the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) 2017 student standards that were adopted by the Pennsylvania State Board of Education in December 2017 and provide a common framework for current instructors to teach computer science education in Pennsylvania schools.

In response to projected workforce trends over the next decade, the Wolf Administration has focused on increasing access to high-quality computer science and STEM for students throughout the commonwealth. It recently announced over $8 million in grants that will expand computer science to more than 750 schools across Pennsylvania.

The targeted grants represent the next phase of the governor’s new and innovative PAsmart initiative, which will provide $20 million to bring high-quality computer science and STEM education in elementary, middle, and high schools, and professional development for teachers. With this commitment, Pennsylvania now ranks second in the country for investments in K-12 STEM and computer science.

View the new guidelines for computer science certification.

For more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs please visit the Department of Education’s website at or follow PDE on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

MEDIA CONTACT: Eric Levis - 717-783-9802 or

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