$900,000 Contribution from AT&T Provides Computer Science Programs to Teachers and Students in Seven Communities Nationwide
NEW YORK, December 5, 2016—Teach For America announced today that it will expand its Computer Science (CS) initiative, bringing high-quality opportunities to teachers and students in seven regions with support from AT&T. Through its signature philanthropic initiative, AT&T Aspire, the technology company will contribute $900,000 over the next two years to provide Udacity Nanodegree credential scholarships to help students learn the skills needed for entry-level jobs in the tech industry, and also to support quality professional development and resources for teachers serving 2,500 students across the Bay Area, Dallas-Fort Worth, Kansas City, New York City, Rio Grande Valley, South Carolina, and Washington D.C.
As members of the national CS for All consortium, AT&T and Teach For America are committed to expanding access to CS education in low-income communities by connecting teachers and students to opportunities that develop career skills in technology.
This school year, in collaboration with Udacity, AT&T will award scholarships to up to 50 students of Teach For America teachers to complete Udacity’s “Intro to Programming” Nanodegree credential, which will provide students with foundational skills for a career in programming. AT&T’s support will also help connect Teach For America teachers to CS curriculum and professional development. Additionally, AT&T is continuing its support of the Exploring Computer Science program, which aims to increase the number of highly skilled CS educators and advocates in underserved communities specifically focused on encouraging participation of students of color and female students in CS.
"Our young people are our greatest strength and will set the course for our future. By working with Teach For America we are able to provide critical opportunities in computer science that will help ignite their potential and set them on a track to succeed in 21st century careers,” said Nicole Anderson, assistant vice president of Social Innovation at AT&T.
With the support of AT&T and the National Science Foundation, Teach For America formally launched its CS initiative in 2015 to increase access to high-quality CS education and experiences in underserved communities.
“As we move further into the digital age, CS must serve as a central component of every student’s PK-12 education. In expanding access to quality CS courses and programs, we are ensuring that all children are prepared to take advantage of the life-changing opportunities awaiting them in the field of computing. As we enter the second year of our collaboration with AT&T, we’re thrilled to increase the number of opportunities available to teachers and students,” said Cullen White, Director of CS Initiatives at Teach For America.
“The benefits of CS opportunities in South Carolina are two-fold. First, it helps students develop the technological skills they need to succeed in college and career. Second, it opens the door to new and exciting opportunities for students in our rural communities by providing them with a platform that connects their ideas and perspectives to the rest of the world. As we work to narrow the digital divide and showcase the brilliance of our students, we’re so thankful for AT&T’s support in introducing more students to CS,” said Josh Bell, Executive Director of Teach For America– South Carolina and member of the South Carolina CS Education Taskforce.
Only 1 in 4 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. With over 500,000 jobs in computing available in the United States, but only 43,000 CS students entering the workforce, the lack of early CS experiences prevents many promising students from taking advantage of the benefits computing has to offer. Five of the fastest-growing occupations in the country are computing occupations, and computing-related jobs provide among the highest entry-level salaries available to those holding a bachelor’s degree. Efforts to reverse this disparity must begin with bolstering Pre-K-12 CS education and expanding access to all students.
About Teach For America
Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. Corps members are teaching today in 53 urban and rural regions across the country. They join more than 12,000 alumni educators in a teaching force of 19,000 and an overall community that is 53,000 strong, working across every sector to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. Teach For America is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.organd follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T
AT&T is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. AT&T Aspire is AT&T’s signature philanthropic initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism, and mentoring. Through Aspire, we’ve passed the $250 million mark on our plan to invest $350 million in education from 2008-2017.