Iowa Board of Regents

Board of Regents Approves Addition of Computer Science to Regent Admission Index

November 14, 2019

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Cedar Falls, Iowa – The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, today approved the addition of computer science to the Regent Admission Index (RAI), recognizing the importance of studying computer science. 

The RAI is the formula that Iowa’s public universities use to automatically admit Iowa high school students. Computer science becomes the sixth category of high school classes that qualify for calculation with the RAI, joining English, math, natural science, social studies and world language. 

“We owe our students the essentials to succeed in a fast-paced 21st century economy, and today that includes computer science,” said Gov. Kim Reynolds. “Bringing computer science credentials into the admission index will prepare more students for the digital transformation that’s already happening. I applaud the Board of Regents for embracing the future and helping our students reach their full potential.” 

A cross-institutional Admissions Study Team of academic and admissions personnel from the institutions and the Board of Regents office meet regularly to evaluate the RAI and discuss which coursework should be included in the index. The team, in consultation with computer science faculty experts, recommended the inclusion of computer science as a category in the RAI formula

“This is an example of how dynamic the Regent Universities are in responding to the changing economy,” said Board of Regents President Dr. Michael Richards. “Recently, we have seen extremely strong growth in the number of students taking computer science classes or majoring in a computer science-related field. Our public universities are leaders in providing education for high-demand jobs, and computer science is at the forefront of that.” 

A 2017 Iowa law encouraged all accredited school districts and nonpublic schools to offer high-quality computer science instruction in elementary, middle and high school by July 1, 2019. Subsequently, the State Board of Education adopted statewide computer science standards in summer 2018 in keeping with the Computer Science Teachers Association K-12 standards. Schools at all levels in Iowa continue to find ways to embed these standards into existing or new courses, while a growing number of teachers are taking college or professional development courses that prepare them to teach to these standards.

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Josh Lehman


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