Computer Science

Computer Science (CS) is the process of solving complex organizational problems using technical solutions. CS develops computational critical thinking and problem-solving skills that show students how to create and use new technologies. This knowledge base is needed as a launch pad to prepare students for college, careers, and community engagement. Regardless of a student’s ultimate field of study or occupation, exposure to CS education will ignite their future success.

Chapter 979 of the Public Acts of 2022, codified at T.C.A. § 49-1-232, requires all K-12 students to have access to CS coursework, materials, and resources. Starting with the entering freshman class of 2024-25, high school students must take one CS credit for high school graduation. Middle school students must take one grading period of CS during their middle school career. Elementary school students will have CS standards embedded into their courses and are not required to take a stand-alone CS course.

Resources

Below are several documents that will be useful in the implementation of CS in Tennessee Schools:

The K-12 CS standards were developed by Tennessee K-12 educators and approved by the Tennessee State Board of Education and are available for district implementation starting in the 2023-24 school year. However, schools are not required to implement the new standards until the 2024-25 school year.

The updated FAQ Document contains new information about the updated Middle School requirements, clarification around CS endorsement opportunities, and other pertinent information.

The purpose of the Computer Science Integration Guide is to demonstrate how content teachers can weave computational thinking and computer science practices into their daily lessons. With an empathetic approach to the workload of educators, this resource demonstrates that teaching computer science is not “one more thing” teachers are being asked to do, but rather a way to complement the teaching of their content lessons with the pedagogy of computer science. Often teachers are already integrating computational thinking and computer science practices in their lessons, and the different components in this integration guide will help teachers to recognize those connections and integrate with confidence and efficacy.

A comprehensive repository of resources has been compiled and shared via our partnership with the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network. Please visit their website for additional CS resources.

Computer Science Endorsement Pathway (CSEP) Information

Middle school and high school teachers must have the appropriate endorsement to teach the required CS course(s). Please see the Tennessee State Board of Education Graduation Substitution Policy 3.103 for the approved list of CS courses. T.C.A. § 49-1-232 provides teachers holding a current teaching license with the opportunity to complete the CSEP, a no-cost route to earn an endorsement qualifying them to teach approved CS courses.

To enroll in the CSEP, teachers must have a current license; preservice teachers, teachers with permits, waivers, or those with school support personnel licenses are not eligible for enrollment in the CSEP.

The CSEP will host a Fall and a Spring course every year. Registration for the Fall cohort will open in June, and registration for the Spring cohort will open in December.

The CSEP Registration form is available here.