First Advisor

Hart, Douglas


College for Professional Studies

Degree Name

MS Computer and Information Technology


School of Computer & Information Science

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

155 pages


This project proposes to reformat the curriculum for an Introduction to Computer Science course for high school students, currently taught as a one semester course. Several issues with the current course are addressed with recommendations for changes intended for the benefit of students at their school. In the past five years, enrollment in the school's Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science course has decreased from 50 students to 25 students despite no significant change in overall enrollment or student demographics. For the portion of those students enrolled in the course who have taken the Advanced Placement exam during the past four years, the passing rate was 50% to 100%. When students were encouraged to take the AP Computer Science A exam, a less rigorous exam, the passing rate increased. The school has been known to develop a curriculum that best meets the needs of its students. The current Introduction to Computer Science course is not meeting their needs. This project addresses several key aspects of the course that could be changed to better prepare the students for the Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science course and increase enrollment in both the introductory and advanced courses, particularly (this would be an added bonus) with respect to female students. The key aspects with the Introduction to Computer Science course that this paper will address are as follows: 1. The effectiveness of the curriculum as an introduction to the Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science, following the curriculum as outlined by the College Board. 2. The course objectives such as the educational philosophy of the course, how the students will be introduced to object-oriented programming using java, the programming language used in the AP Computer Science course, and choosing the software, textbook and supplemental materials that would best meet the needs of the students and support the course objectives. 3. The classroom teaching methodology. This would include, but not be limited to, the expectations of the students both in the classroom and as it relates to homework beyond class times, the nature of homework assignments, when and how much would be assigned on a daily basis, the types of assessments that would determine the students grades, and how these assessment would be graded. 4. Building student interest in the computer science field and demonstrating that every student is capable of basic programming skills.

Date of Award

Spring 2009

Location (Creation)

Colorado (state); Denver (county); Denver (inhabited place)

Rights Statement

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