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Computer Science Instead Of Math? Calif. Bill May Change College Guidelines

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(Photo credit: Dan Currier/Getty Images)

(Photo credit: Dan Currier/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A Pacoima lawmaker wants to help students get into California state colleges and universities by using some computer science classes to fulfill math requirements for college admissions.

Introduced by Democratic State Senator Alex Padilla, Senate Bill 1200 would call upon University of California and the California State University to develop guidelines for high school computer science courses”which satisfy the mathematics subject area requirements for the purposes of undergraduate admissions.

The courses would have to meet the same rigorous academic standards by building upon the fundamental mathematics content that are provided in approved math courses, according to Padilla’s office.

Under current guidelines, schools are required to submit a proposed course curriculum to the UC and CSU for consideration. SB 1200 would request that the UC and require CSU to develop the guidelines for advanced computer science courses.

Padilla told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO California is failing to prepare its students for a job market that will need to fill hundreds of thousands of computing-related jobs in the next five years.

State Senator Alex Padilla

knx logo black Computer Science Instead Of Math? Calif. Bill May Change College Guidelines
KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO

“Most of the good-paying jobs we see require some amount of computer science knowledge, and so it only makes sense to align our educational requirements to the workforce needs,” said Padilla.

If signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, SB 1200 would also encourage UC officials to ensure that computer science courses that satisfy the mathematics subject area requirements for admission “build upon fundamental mathematics content provided in courses that align with the academic content standards developed by the commission,” according to Padilla spokesperson John Mann.

Out of over 1,300 high schools in California, only one currently offers a computer science course that has been approved by the UC and CSU to satisfy a math requirement for undergraduate admissions. At all other high schools, computer science courses are treated as electives.

Of the 1.1 million science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs that will need to be filled in California by 2018, computing-related jobs account for nearly half, according to Padilla.

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