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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Program that pairs computer science professionals with teachers, to "team teach" computer science, expands in Michigan

Ted Media Contact: Erica Quealy
517-582-2961 | quealye@michigan.gov

MDE Media Contact: Martin Ackley
517-241-4395 | ackleym@michigan.gov

Microsoft TEALS Media Contact:
Microsoftphilanthropiescoreteam@we-worldwide.com

Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018

LANSING, Mich. – This school year, 21 high schools in Michigan are offering a hands-on computer science education course for students through the Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) program, operated by Microsoft Philanthropies

TEALS pairs trained computer science professionals from across the technology industry with classroom teachers to team-teach computer science. This fall, 59 volunteers, from 33 companies and organizations, will work side-by-side with teachers, through TEALS. The program, which was in ten Michigan schools last year, has more than doubled its presence in the state.

According to Code.org, the gap between open computing jobs in the US, and those with the training to compete for those jobs, will continue to grow long into the future. The nonprofit also points out that those with computer science degrees earn, on average 40 percent more than those with other degrees.

“With more than 270,000 information technology and computer science career openings in Michigan through 2024, business and education partnerships that train our students with the skills they need to be placed in these high-demand, high-wage careers are critical to closing the state’s talent gap,”  Talent and Economic Development Department of Michigan Director Roger Curtis said.

“Students have an increased interest in learning computer science, yet most high schools don’t have the resources to offer the rigorous courses,” Interim State Superintendent Sheila Alles said. “We’re encouraged to see local school districts partnering with TEALS, and for the support of all of the businesses that have stepped up to support the program. It will help our high schools and teachers throughout Michigan build and grow sustainable computer science programs.”

Increasing the number of students from diverse backgrounds is also a focus for TEALS. Among the teachers who work with TEALS volunteers is Zach Sweet, of Detroit’s Renaissance High School. Sweet was trained by Code.org to teach computer science, and TEALS volunteers provide extra support in his class. Last year, Sweet’s class alone caused a 225 percent increase in the number of African-American students, in the entire state of Michigan, who passed the AP Computer Science Principles exam from 2017 to 2018.

“It’s a unique public-private partnership for technology professionals and classroom teachers to come together to inspire students every day, to show young people what’s possible when they learn computer science,” said Kevin Wang, the Microsoft software engineer and former classroom computer science (CS) teacher who founded TEALS. “Computational thinking and CS are in demand for careers from marketing to manufacturing to agriculture to sports management, and all students should have the opportunity to learn CS.”

Since its founding in 2009, employees from hundreds of companies across the country have volunteered through TEALS to serve over 37,000 students. A key priority is ultimately making computer science education available to every Michigan student, with an emphasis on outreach to young women and minorities who are currently underrepresented among the ranks of tech workers.

Microsoft is also among those in the private sector working with Michigan educators, legislators and Gov. Snyder to help transform the state’s talent pipeline and create more economic opportunities through the Marshall Plan for Talent.

PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS

Detroit Area Schools

  • Renaissance High School
  • Cass Technology High School
  • Western International High School
  • Detroit International Academy for Young Women
  • West Side Academy for Information Technology and Cybersecurity
  • Central High School
  • Cody High School
  • Henry Ford High School
  • Cornerstone Health and Technology
  • Summit Academy North (Romulus)
  • Advanced Technology Academy (Dearborn)
  • Henry Ford Academy (Dearborn)
  • Lee M. Thurston High School (Redford)

Lansing Area Schools

  • East Lansing High School

Oakland County Schools

  • Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy

Macomb County Schools

  • Fraser High School
  • New Haven High School
  • Macomb Mathematics, Science and Technology Center

Other Area Schools

  • Ludington High School
  • Northwest High School (Jackson County)
  • Brighton High School

PARTICIPATING EMPLOYERS PROVIDING VOLUNTEERS

  • Microsoft
  • General Motors
  • Quicken Loans
  • Binary Star Technology, Inc
  • Boeing
  • City of Detroit
  • CP Federal Credit Union
  • DAS Computer Consultants, LTD.
  • Data Driven Detroit
  • Denha Consulting Group
  • Detroit Diesel Corporation
  • Detroit Public School Community District
  • Eastern Michigan University
  • Elektrobit Automotive Americas Inc
  • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
  • Ford Motor Company
  • GE
  • Google
  • IBM
  • IHS Markit
  • Kalitta Air
  • Kittehface Software
  • Kohl's
  • Kostal of America
  • Meridian Health Plan
  • NCI Manufacturing
  • Oplogic CRM
  • Quikly
  • Savance L.L.C.
  • Signet Inc
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • Vision IT
  • Wayne State University