Computer Science

The Virtual High School Introduces New Computing Certificate Program

The Virtual High School, a nonprofit based in Massachusetts, is introducing a new computing certificate program to celebrate Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 5-11).

The new VHS computing certificate program will encourage high school students across the United States to become more interested in computing and computer science (CS), and better understand the career options available to them in CS and related fields. The program is especially geared toward the underserved, the Virtual High School’s President and CEO Carol Ribeiro said.

The announcement also corresponds with President Obama’s Computer Science for All initiative and the White House’s fact sheet released today, announcing hundreds of new commitments that support the implementation of CS and computational thinking in K–12 education. The Virtual High School is one of the organizations mentioned in today’s fact sheet of agencies, nonprofits and companies pledging their support for CSforAll.

The computing certificate program also complements other recent VHS CS initiatives. This fall, the organization launched AP Computer Science Principles, an introductory college-level computer science course designed for all students in grades 10-12, not just those interested in STEM subjects. VHS says it was among the first online providers in the country to offer this College Board-approved course.

“Computer science is a necessary skill in our technology-based society, but unfortunately not all students are aware of the computer science options available to them,” Ribeiro said in a prepared statement. “We’re pleased to build new partnerships and expand the ways in which we help students acquire critical thinking and problem solving skills through computer science.”

The computing certificate program will be available to students at no charge if their schools pay a VHS participation fee, Ribeiro said. Students who wish to enroll independently (home school students, etc.) would pay the per-course rate, which is $450, she said.

For more information about the certificate program or about the Virtual High School, visit the organization’s website or call 978-897-1900.

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at [email protected].