In the IT/Computer Science Academy, we don’t just teach you to use a computer, but how to process information. In the five courses we offer at Bob Jones, our main goal is to develop computational thinking in our students. In order to advance such thinking, we require students to have a strong mathematical foundation prior to taking our courses.
Computer Science Principles is our newest course. This course covers the overarching themes of computer science such as internet, big data, programming, and technology’s impact on society. Even though it is considered an introductory course, it is rigorous. We expect students to research extensively, write and present papers, and collaborate with classmates. The prerequisite for this course is Algebra 1 and the co-requisite is geometry. In the fall of 2016 this pilot course will become an AP course.
The next three (C, C++, and AP Computer Science) are a sequence of programming courses meant to be taken in order. The prerequisite for the introductory C programming class is Algebra I, which means students should already have strong problem solving and critical thinking skills. Over the course of this sequence, we prepare our students with extensive programming experience. In fact, the passing rate for the AP exam for our students is consistently between 80 and 100 percent, with most of our students earning three hours of college credit at colleges and universities.
For the most dedicated computer science students, we have our final course, Senior Career Pathway Projects. It is an honors course reserved for those who have completed the programming sequence or are currently taking the AP class and have teacher approval. Students may either complete a project that can be presented at a local competition such as ACTE (Alabama Council for Technology in Education) or NARSEF (North Alabama Regional Science and Engineering Fair) or may intern with a local tech company.
Our award-winning computer science team has won almost every ACTE state programming competition for the past 10 years. They have also qualified for and competed at the national level in American Computer Science League contests traveling to places such as Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Houston. The team meets weekly for practices, mock competitions, and just to hang out. To be a member, a student should have completed at least one of the programming courses offered at Bob Jones or already be proficient in a programming language.
This past year the State Education Department approved a bill for our AP courses to count as math credits as long as the student has completed Algebra II or higher.
If you have questions about the courses or the CS team, please feel free to contact Jennie Rountree at Bob Jones High School.