New Initiative Aims to Bring Computer Science & Cyber Education to Half a Million JROTC Youth
CSforALL, US Air Force JROTC-CS project will grow and strengthen diversity of tech workforce
For Immediate Release
SALT LAKE CITY, UT (Wednesday, October 23, 2019) — Today, at the 2019 CSforALL Summit, leaders representing CSforALL and Air Force Junior ROTC announced JROTC-CS, an innovative new initiative that could dramatically increase the number of U.S. high school students taking an Advanced Placement computer science course, particularly among underrepresented populations like minority and female students. This public-private partnership is supported by an Advisory Consortium of industry and education organizations including founding members Intel Corporation, Microsoft, Capital One, Lockheed Martin, Snap Inc., the Air Force Association’s Cyberpatriot, and the College Board.
More than 500,000 cadets at 3,400 high schools across the U.S. and abroad participate in JROTC programs administered by each of the military services. Only 32% of these cadets have access to Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Principles in their school, according to 2018–19 College Board data. The JROTC-CS initiative seeks to access this untapped human resource to address the national talent shortage in computing and cybersecurity and increase career opportunities for JROTC cadets, who are a highly diverse population — more than half are minority students and 40% are female. Additionally, JROTC is strongly represented in schools serving economically disadvantaged communities.
“We are proud to be partnering with CSforALL on behalf of our sister service JROTC units to help test this new program,” said Col. Stephen Sanders, Director, Air Force Junior ROTC. “In today’s digital world, meaningful preparation in technology and STEM related education is a critical part of preparing our youth for success.”
“We at CSforALL are excited about the impact this initiative will have for the youth of the United States,” said Ruthe Farmer, Chief Evangelist at CSforALL. “Beyond bringing JROTC cadets into technology career pathways, this initiative has the potential to provide access to AP computer science for an additional 2.6 million students that attend JROTC high schools.”
“We’re honored to join CSforALL to help the next generation of young Americans learn the skills they need to serve their country,” said Stefanie Sanford, chief of global policy for the College Board, which offers the AP Computer Science A and AP Computer Science Principles courses. “Computer science is fast emerging as one of the core skills of the modern world. Far more students deserve access to evidence-based computer science so they can shape the future, not just cope with it.”
“At Intel, we are committed to advancing diversity and inclusion not only in our own company but across the technology industry. To shape the future of technology, we must be representative of that future. The challenge before us is not a lack of talent but rather a lack of access,” said Barbara H. Whye, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and Vice President of Human Resources at Intel Corporation. “Earlier this year we testified before the U.S. House of Representatives House Committee on Science, Space and Technology and advocated for congress to address systemic opportunity gaps on a national level. Leveraging the JROTC program infrastructure provides a solution to address access to tech education at a systems level, and we are thrilled to be part of moving this innovative approach forward.”
The JROTC-CS initiative is designed to complement the innovative, bi-partisan JROTC Cyber Training Act passed by the U.S. House of Representatives as part of the 2020 House National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on July 12. The NDAA is being negotiated in conference committee with the U.S. Senate. House Resolution 3266 is sponsored by Reps. Lizzie Fletcher (D-Tx.), Rob Bishop (R-Ut.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Conor Lamb (D-Penn.), and Michael Waltz (R-Fla.). The Senate version, Senate Bill 2154, is sponsored by Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Gary Peters (D-MI) and Steve Daines (R-MT).
Press Contact: Dorie Turner Nolt, firstname.lastname@example.org, 404–861–1127
CSforALL is the national hub of the computer science for all movement with a mission to make high-quality computer science an integral part of K-12 education in the United States. Our three-pillar approach; Support Local Change, Increase Rigor and Equity, and Grow the Movement, directs our work across a national and local spectrum to provide equitable and accessible K-12 computer science education to every student. We engage with diverse stakeholders leading computer science initiatives across the nation to support and facilitate implementation of rigorous, inclusive and sustainable computer science. For more information: www.csforall.org Twitter: @CSforALL
About Air Force Junior ROTC:
Air Force Junior ROTC is one of the Air Force’s largest educational programs operating in almost 900 high schools across the country and 15 overseas locations. More than 125,000 students in 9th through 12th grades are positively influenced every day. Air Force Junior ROTC’s focus is developing citizenship, leadership, character, responsibility and service oriented young people. This is accomplished through a world-class accredited curriculum, and disciplined uniformed environment, wrapped in aerospace and STEM related learning opportunities.