STEM

Teach for America to Offer Nanodegrees

Teach For America plans to offer scholarships for students to complete Udacity's Intro to Programming nanodegree program.

The scholarship program is an expansion of Teach For America's computer science initiative, which was launched in 2015 with the support of AT&T and the National Science Foundation. AT&T's philanthropic initiative, AT&T Aspire, will contribute $900,000 to the initiative over the next two years. In addition to the Udacity nanodegree scholarship program, the funds will support professional development for teachers and continuation of the Exploring Computer Science program.

This school year, the scholarship program will enable up to 50 students of Teach For America teachers to complete the Udacity nanodegree, which teaches students how to make a web page, build a simple game, create a movie website, reverse engineer a web app and complete a final project geared toward a specific computer science career goal.

According to information from Teach For America, "only one in four schools nationwide offer CS classes, leaving many students — particularly students of color and those from low-income communities — without the foundational skills, exposure to teachers with CS backgrounds and hands-on learning experiences to pursue CS in college and career."

In addition to the scholarship program, the expansion of Teach For America's computer science initiative will provide Teach For America teachers with computer science curriculum and professional development. Collectively, these teachers serve 2,500 students across the Bay Area, Dallas-Fort Worth, Kansas City, New York, Rio Grande Valley, South Carolina and Washington, D.C.

The new funding from AT&T Aspire will also provide continuing support for the Exploring Computer Science program, which works to increase and enhance computer science educational opportunities for female students and students of color in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).

Teach For America is an organization that works with communities to expand educational opportunities for children living in poverty. Teach For America and AT&T are members of the CSfoAll Consortium.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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