Make AP CS Count Toward Core Requirements for University of California Admission

California is known as a world leader in driving the digital age through our information technology sector. Yet, few students have access to high-quality K-12 computer science education in the state. A key issue is that rigorous computer science courses typically do not satisfy a core mathematics or science graduation requirement for entrance to the UC system. We are seeking program status (statewide recognition) for AP Computer Science (CS) Principles and AP Computer Science A to be allowed to satisfy a mathematics “c” or science “d” credit for University of California admissions.

Although Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District is in the heart of the Silicon Valley – home to many high-tech companies including Google, Intuit, AOL, Adobe, Microsoft, NASA Ames, Silicon Graphics, and Oracle – as recently as 2012 there was no college preparatory computer science course offered at the district’s two comprehensive public high schools. And this lack of access is widespread across California. Just under 4,000 students took the AP Computer Science A exam in 2012, compared to more than 31,000 for AP Biology and almost 60,000 for AP Calculus. Limited access also creates serious gender and equity issues for underserved minorities. In 2012, only 45 African Americans and 306 Latinos took the AP CS A exam.

California CS Counts for AG

Public Hearing open for the Computer Science Supplementary Authorization

Supplementary Authorization in Computer Science

The Commission on Teacher Credentialing is considering a proposal to change the current, outdated Supplementary Authorization in Computer Concepts and Applications (CCA) with one explicitly focused on Computer Science, changing both the name as well as the content areas. This proposed change was first presented this at the February 2015 Commission meeting (item 6B), where the concept was unanimously approved. Relevant amended regulations, presented at the June Commission meeting (item 7B, Part I), were also unanimously approved. The final public hearing will be held at the October Commission meeting, item 1I on Friday, October 9 2015.

The current CCA authorization requires coursework that covers only the use of computers (i.e., software evaluation and selection, hardware operation and functions, and classroom uses of computers). Moreover, this content has now become addressed within the preliminary preparation program standards for all general and special education teaching credentials and is thus redundant.

The proposed CS authorization strengthens the required content areas of study to prepare teachers to teach the full range of K-12 Computer Science courses being offered in California. Teachers holding the authorization will have the knowledge to introduce students to creation of computing technology (e.g., computational thinking, programming, digital devices, impacts of computing). The specified content areas are differentiated by an introductory CS authorization (which basically authorizes teaching curriculum level grade 9 and below) and a specific CS authorization (which authorizes teaching content in grades K-12).

For full information, you can study Coded Correspondence 15-06—Proposed Amendments to Title 5 Regulations Pertaining to the Supplementary Authorization in Computer Science (you may need to open this in something other than Safari). We are currently in the 45-day public comment period before the final CTC step to approve the new authorization in CS.  So, now is the time to submit your support letters and/or comments.  Responses must arrive by 5:00 PM on October 5 to be considered for the October 9 public hearing. It is important that they see broad support for the authorization.

You can send a letter of support via email to David Crable <>, or send a hard copy to

David Crable
Certification Division
Commission on Teacher Credentialing
1900 Capitol Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95811-4213.

You can also merely voice your support by marking and sending the Response Form at the end of the coded correspondence.  The Commission has indicated that the best mechanism is to send a marked response form, whether sent alone or with a letter attached, as it allows them to immediately identify the purpose of the correspondence.  For your convenience, you can find just the Response Form here.

Please contact me if you have any questions. I thank you for your continued support.

Debra Richardson
ACCESS Steering Committee Chair

California Computer Science Legislation Introduced Spring, 2015

  1. AB 1258, (Chau). Elementary and secondary education:Computer Science Education Grant Program.

    This bill would establish the Computer Science Education Grant Program under the administration of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Under the program, eligible school districts would apply to receive funding under either or both of the 2 grant programs. One grant program, the Computer Science Start-Up Courses Grant program, would provide grants to establish and maintain computer science courses, and the other grant program, the Computer Science Educator Training Grant program, would provide professional development for educators to teach computer science, either as a stand-alone course or integrated into other courses.


  3. AB 252, (Holden). Advanced placement program: grant program: STEM curriculum.

    This bill would establish a grant program overseen by the department for purposes of awarding grants to cover the costs associated with a high school establishing or expanding its advanced placement STEM curriculum.


  5. AB 482 (Harper). Concurrent enrollment in secondary school and community college.

    This bill would express the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation later in the 2015–16 Regular Session regarding concurrent enrollment in secondary school and community college for pupils pursuing studies related to computer science.


  7. ACR 17, as amended, Chang. Women and Girls in STEM Week.

    This measure would designate April 5 to April 11, inclusive, 2015, as Women and Girls in STEM Week, would encourage all citizens and community organizations to support the observance of California Women and Girls in STEM Week by encouraging and celebrating women in the STEM fields.

In Need of Repair Report & Agenda

In Need of Repair: The State of K-12 Computer Science Education in California

Authored by David Bernier, ECS/UCLA
Edited by Chris Stephenson, CSTA Executive Director,
Debra Richardson, ACCESS Chair, and
Gail Chapman, ECS/UCLA

This report describes the general K-12 education landscape in California as a foundation and provides details related to the current computer science education landscape, including but not limited to: computer science courses available to students, credentialing of computer science teachers, professional development opportunities for educators, and funding opportunities related to the support of computer science education.

Read the report…


ACCESS Agenda to Reform Computer Science Education in California:
Addendum to In Need of Repair: The State of K‐12 Computer Science Education in California

Authored by Debra Richardson

Read the agenda…