FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 4, 2020

UNC Charlotte and NCVirtual Computer Science Partnership

The project will create professional development for computer science teachers and provide improvements to NCVirtual’s Computer Science A course.

Raleigh, NC: The National Science Foundation has awarded UNC Charlotte (UNCC) $299,848 to prepare high school instructors to teach computer science courses. In collaboration with the North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVirtual), UNCC will create an online professional development course for computer science teachers. The project will also bring technology upgrades to NCVirtual’s AP Computer Science A course, which enrolls high school students throughout North Carolina. 

“NCVirtual is delighted to have the opportunity to partner with UNC Charlotte to improve computer science programming courses for diverse students,” said Dr. Rachel McBroom, NCVirtual’s Chief Learning Officer.  

The online professional development course will prepare teachers with strategies to effectively teach computing online, which is critical in today’s world, and to reach students who do not otherwise have opportunities to study computing. The course’s themes include computer science programming concepts and the societal impacts of computing for high school teachers. This project will bring new technologies to NCVirtual’s AP course, including automated graders and culturally responsive instructional materials.

“We look forward to collaborating on the creation of culturally responsive instructional materials and educator professional development on the use of those materials to reach all students, especially those who are typically underrepresented in the field of computer science,” said Dr. McBroom.

NCVirtual plans to sponsor AP Computer Science A enrollments for a number of students at traditionally underserved schools.

About NCVirtual: NCVirtual is the nation’s second-largest state-lead virtual school with over 50,000 enrollments every year. NCVPS offers over 130 different courses as a supplement to the local high school course catalog. By virtue of online course delivery, students now have access to rigorous courses and high-quality teachers regardless of ZIP code.