Digital Learning

Computer Science/IT Academy

Published: 1/22/2024 2:42 PM

​Visit for sortable, downloadable standards and resources.

​The Computer Science/Information Technology (CS/IT) Academy is a joint venture of OET & CTE with the aim of supporting rigorous computer science teacher professional learning in addition to teacher and students course support in the demonstration of Computer Science standards and industry certification exam vouchers in ALL computer science courses and pathways.

What is Computer Science Education?  Kentucky defines Computer Science (CS) as an academic discipline that encompasses the study of computers and algorithmic processes, including their principles, their hardware and software designs, their applications, networks, and their impact on society. 

Background: By creating more opportunities for computer science learning for Kentucky students, we will reach, keep and engage more students in learning, create a pool of more qualified people to fill existing job openings and stimulate suppressed economic regions of our state by developing a high-tech skilled workforce. Computer science and coding utilize critical thinking and problem-solving talents that benefit all career paths.

Vision: Learning through computer science can benefit all students, kindergarten through twelfth grade. The Kentucky K-12 Computer Science standards are designed to 1) Focus on "creating" content rather than simply consuming it; 2) implement and integrate into many content areas; 3) expose more learners to critical thinking, computational thinking, and problem-solving through computer science.


Goals include:

  • initiating cross-curricular connections to enhance the understanding that CS Skills and concepts are not just for future CS jobs. CS Skills and concepts can help develop advanced problem-solving and critical thinking for all future jobs.
  • establishing a continuum of computer science education and student competencies from elementary to high school;
  • providing more opportunities for computer science learning for ALL students, especially students typically under-represented in rigorous high school courses, to engage in advanced coursework that will prepare them for future success;
  • preparing students to address a critical workforce need related to computer science knowledge and skills.

Industry Certification Exam Vouchers

Beginning the 2019-2020 school year, the newly launched Computer Science & Information Technology Academy (formerly Microsoft's Imagine Academy) will no longer provide funding for Microsoft certification exams for pathways outside of the Computer Science and Information Technology pathways.  While payment will not be approved through the academy, districts may use other funding sources to offer these certification exams as aligned with pathways on the Valid Industry Certification list.  

The Computer Science & Information Technology Academy will provide funding for exams as aligned with Computer Science and Information Technology pathways on the Valid Industry Certification list.

Making Computer Science Fundamental

Kentucky is making gains toward providing K-12 students greater access to computer science experiences preparing them for high-demand career fields. The state's first comprehensive plan was approved in 2021 with the primary focus of aligning resources to achieve this goal., a national nonprofit dedicated to expanding computer science in schools, regularly assesses states progress in nine key areas to assist in achieving this goal. Here is Kentucky's current status in those key areas:

1. Create a state plan for K-12 computer science
  • Approved in 2021
2. Define computer science and establish rigorous K-12 computer science standards
  • Kentucky's computer science standards were adopted in March 2019
3. Allocate funding for rigorous computer science teacher professional learning and course support
  • funding by the Kentucky legislature has been allocated and additional grant funding is being sought
    See the Operating Budget page 63
4. Implement clear certification pathways for computer science teachers
5. Create programs at institutions of higher education to offer computer science to pre-service teachers
  • grant funding is currently being sought and higher education partnerships developed to begin these offerings
6. Establish dedicated computer science positions in state and local education agencies
  • Dr. Sean Jackson has been identified (June 2020) as the Computer Science lead for Kentucky's K-12 public school districts and serves as the primary point of contact for the CS/IT Academy Program and all CS programming
7. Require that all secondary schools offer computer science with appropriate timelines
8. Allow computer science to satisfy a core graduation requirement
  • computer science is an eligible substitute for a student's math and science core requirement
9. Allow computer science to satisfy an admission requirement at institutions of higher education
  • perspective students may use computer science as an admission requirement through articulation agreements at select Kentucky institutions of higher education

​Sean R. Jackson
CS & IT Academy Program Manager
K-12 Computer Science Lead
Office of Education Technology
300 Sower Blvd., 4th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-2020

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