Western Washington University has been awarded $1.6 million in funding to expand capacity for students seeking computer science degrees and develop a new program for a computer science teaching certification.
Western got the funding from the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship, which supports low and middle income students pursuing degrees in sciences, technology, engineering, math and healthcare degrees. Over the past five years, the number of Western students seeking computer science degrees has increased by more than 300 percent.
The university will use the funds to hire four new tenure-track professor. Two of those will specialize in in computer science education, and will work with current and future K-12 computer science teachers and prepare them to earn the new K-12 computer science endorsement which is under development in the state.
The funding will allow Western to serve more than 140 additional computer science students each year.