Shaping the future of K-12 Computer Science Education for all Illinois students.
The University of Illinois, in partnership with a variety of computer science education stakeholders, and through the generosity of the CME Group Foundation, is hosting the second Illinois Statewide CS Education Summit - #ILCSEdSummit2020. This year will once again engage K-12 educators, administrators, policymakers, industry professionals, non-profits, and legislators in a day of collaboration, presentations, panel discussions, and working groups, with the shared goal of making CS for All a reality in Illinois.
Why Computer Science Education?
Computer Science Education is of critical importance to Illinois and beyond. Computing jobs span the full job market and represent the number one source of new wages in the U.S. economy. A 2017 Illinois Science and Technology Coalition Report identified Illinois as the second-highest producer of Computer Science college graduates nationally.
Illinois has exceptional universities with leading programs in computer science and engineering, but, we have considerable room for growth as a state to provide students progressing through our K-12 schools the same exceptional experiences in studying Computer Science. Early access to computer science courses has been shown to increase enrollment for girls and minorities in STEM courses in higher education, as well as increase the number of whom choose careers in STEM fields. Equity in access to computer science ensures that all students have the foundational knowledge necessary for them to productively participate in today's world and make informed decisions about their lives.
Data collected and published monthly by the Conference Board, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the National Center for Education Statistics identified over 20,000 currently-unfilled computing jobs in Illinois. The average annual salary for a professional in computing is around $90,000 USD. Were Illinois employers able to fill each of these jobs, this would amount to $1.8 billion USD of additional opportunities in terms of annual salary. Further, if employers were able to hire employees from Illinois to fill these job openings, we would experience an incalculable return on our state's investment into its future fiscal health. Access to a world-class K-12 Computer Science Education has grown to become foundational in affording all children the best opportunity to reach their fullest potential as meaningful contributors to our society, economy, and culture.
The Summit was planned to join together a community of impassioned stakeholders in support of statewide expansion of world-class K-12 Computer Science Education.