Program Overview: The CTE Computer Science Pathway prepares students for further study and careers in the field of Computer Science. Students complete a sequence of four courses, starting with an overview of the Computing and Information Technology field and progressing through a more in-depth study of computer science. Throughout the program, students will learn all aspects of Computer Science including: programming, hardware design, networks, graphics, databases and information retrieval, cyber security, software design, programming languages, logic, programming paradigms, translation between levels of abstraction, artificial intelligence, the limits of computations, applications in information technology and information systems, and social issues (Internet security, privacy, and intellectual property).
1. Foundations of Computer Science
2. AP Computer Science Principles
3. AP Computer Science A
4. Computer Science Capstone
The first course, Foundations of Computer Science is designed to introduce students to the breadth of the field of computer science through an exploration of engaging and accessible topics. Rather than focusing the entire course on learning particular software tools or programming languages, the course is designed to focus the conceptual ideas of computing and help students understand why certain tools or languages might be utilized to solve particular problems. This course includes a broad range of topics in computing: impact of technology, programming structures, cyber security, and gaming development.
The second course is AP Computer Science Principles. This course advances students’ understanding of the technical aspects of computing including, programming and algorithm design, computer system organization and operation, and data representation and information organization. This course includes the use of Python.
The third course, AP Computer Science A, is a more in-depth study of computer science, specifically the technical aspects of computing including; programming and algorithm design, computer system organization and operation, and data representation and information organization. In this course, the primary language used in advancing student’s understanding of the application of computational thinking to real-world problems is Java.*
The fourth course is Computer Science Capstone. The Capstone course includes all the topics of Computer Science A, as well as a more formal and in-depth study of algorithms, data structures, design, and abstraction.*
*The AP Computer Science A course is compatible with those topics that are covered in a typical CS1 course as described in the example curricula in the ACM/IEEE guidelines. The additional topics in the Capstone course are consistent with a CS2 course in those sample curricula. Some colleges and universities may organize their curricula in alternative ways so that the topics of the AP Computer Science A and Capstone courses are spread over the first three or four college courses, with other topics from computer science interspersed.