Microsoft expands computer science education program to Juarez, Mexico, and expands reach across 18 U.S. cities to improve high school students’ access and equity5 min read
The expansion is the largest for Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) since the program was founded 12 years ago.
JUAREZ, Mexico, Sept. 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Microsoft Corp. joined FECHAC, FUNAX, and community and government leaders to announce the expansion of the Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) program to four high schools in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and 252 U.S. high schools across six net new cities and expanded reach in 12 cities. This is the largest program expansion into new cities and regions since TEALS was founded 12 years ago in 2009, and it’s also the first time the current English language curriculum will be translated into Spanish through partnerships with curriculum providers such as Carnegie Mellon University.
Starting this 2021-2022 school year, TEALS, a Microsoft Philanthropies program that helps high schools develop and grow inclusive and sustainable computer science programs, will operate in four Ciudad Juarez high schools and reach approximately 160 students. Over the next five years, the program will expand to 12 additional high schools with 480 students, 12 teachers and 24 volunteers.
“The TEALS expansion to Mexico marks an important step in our efforts to make computer science education accessible to high school students in the region, increasing the likelihood that they’ll continue to study technology and land meaningful, in-demand jobs that offer higher pay and career longevity,” said Omar Saucedo, Microsoft TechSpark regional manager based in Ciudad Juarez. “In collaboration with our partners across the border, we will help students, teachers, volunteers and communities play an important role in and benefit from our growing digital economy.”
To help make this cross-border expansion possible, Microsoft is partnering with FECHAC, a citizens’ initiative in the state of Chihuahua to promote education, health and social capital development projects across civil organizations and public institutions, and Fundación AXCEL A.C. (FUNAX), a program that empowers the entrepreneurial community to innovate, promote social development, and improve opportunities and quality of life in the region.
“It is key that our youth have training opportunities like TEALS to secure better future job opportunities,” said Gil Cueva, FECHAC Juarez president.
TEALS builds the capacity of teachers by pairing a tech industry volunteer with participating high school teachers to team-teach computer science. Volunteers support the teachers as they learn to teach computer science independently over time using proven curricula. TEALS also provides partner schools with strategies and resources to help increase equity, including creating inclusive learning spaces, promoting diversity in enrollment, and developing strategies for inclusive instruction.
“Our mission is to democratize technological education,” said Lennys Sánchez, FUNAX director. “TEALS represents a key strategy to achieve our goals in Juarez.”
As part of Microsoft’s racial equity and justice efforts announced in June 2020, 18 U.S. metropolitan areas with high populations of Black and African American students will offer computer science education through TEALS at 252 high schools, including in Atlanta; Birmingham, Ala.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Charleston, S.C.; Chicago; Dallas; Detroit; Houston; Jackson, Miss.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Los Angeles; Memphis, Tenn.; Miami; Montgomery, Ala.; New Orleans; New York (all five boroughs); Rochester, N.Y.; Selma, Ala.; St. Louis; and Washington.
TEALS focuses on serving students excluded from learning computer science because of race, gender or geography. Microsoft is committed to enhancing the program each year and supporting the teachers, volunteers and partners who make the ability to reach and help students learn possible. With its track record of sustained progress, TEALS is now one of the most established computer science education programs in North America.
TEALS has offered a hybrid model of remote teaching options since the program was started in which rural communities have the option of tapping volunteers who are based in regions outside their reach. With the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on in-person learning, TEALS offers virtual classroom options where volunteers participate remotely using video conferencing and other interactive features. During the 2021-2022 school year, about 1,300 remote volunteers will help team-teach students.
Additional facts about computer science education and the TEALS program:
Today, 58% of all new STEM-related jobs are in computing, but just 10% of STEM graduates are in computer science. TEALS aims to help address this gap.
According to Code.org, an organization that Microsoft partners with, 90% of parents want their child to study computer science, but just 47% of high schools teach it.
It’s estimated there are currently 400,000 computing job openings, with roles available in every state. This demand is expected to grow at twice the rate of all other jobs.
TEALS operates in 31 states; Washington, D.C.; British Columbia, Canada; and now Juarez, Mexico. The program is composed of over 1,650 volunteers from over 700 companies and serves 17,000 students. Since its founding in 2009, TEALS has served over 93,000 students.
As of the 2020-2021 school year, approximately 29% of TEALS students self-identified as Hispanic or Latinx, 12% self-identified as Black or African American, and 29% self-identified as female. Microsoft aims to work with partners and participating schools to continue improving the diversity of students enrolled in TEALS computer science education programs.
Nearly 1 in 5 schools participating in TEALS are in rural communities.
According to the 2019-2020 end-of-year student survey, 58% of TEALS students report planning to study computer science in college, and 76% say they feel that they can succeed in future computer science classes. TEALS students also scored 8% higher than the national average on the 2018 AP Computer Science A exam.
FECHAC´s mission is to create better opportunities for social and human development of Chihuahua’s people.
Our main goal is to develop projects that contribute to democratize knowledge to create equal opportunities to all citizens in the Juarez region.
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
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SOURCE Microsoft Corp.