Shea Receives SUNY High Needs Grant to Create Online Certificate Program in Information Technology Education

Albany, NY (October 2, 2015) – Dr. Peter Shea, Educational Theory and Practice and UAlbany Associate Vice Provost for Online Learning, received $75,154 in High Needs funding from SUNY to create an online Certificate of Graduate Study in Information Technology Education (CITE). This project was one of three UAlbany proposals selected by SUNY for High Needs funding in 2015-16.

Dr. Peter SheaThe project will bring together faculty from the School of Education’s Department of Educational Theory and Practice and The College of Engineering and Applied Science’s Informatics Department. Faculties from the two departments will collaborate on curricular changes and new course development that will result in a SUNY graduate credential that helps prepare teachers and other educators to engage students in computer science and information technology. While there is growing recognition that computer science and information technology are crucial academic subjects and expanding sectors of the economy, little formal preparation exists for pre-college educators. For example, New York State does not have a certification track for computer science teachers. However, many school districts, including all districts in New York City, are planning to require that computer science be taught in K-12 curricula.

Shea said, “Clearly there is a need for more formal opportunities for teachers to learn computer science principles and pedagogy that can help introduce students to computer science in engaging ways. We see an opportunity to reach many such teachers with an online graduate certificate that includes our partners in the Department of Informatics.”

In the last two years, 87 High Needs grants were awarded across the SUNY System to establish or expand academic programs throughout the state. Information technology was identified as one of eight high needs areas.