Iowa Regents add computer science as course category of consideration in Regent Admission Index

The state Board of Regents approved the addition of computer science as a coursework category for consideration in the Regent Admission Index when students apply to the three state universities.

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Iowa Regents add computer science as course category of consideration in Regent Admission Index

Board members listen during the Board of Regents meeting on September 12, 2018 in the IMU Main Lounge. Regents members discussed remodeling various buildings and sights across various Iowa campuses.

Board members listen during the Board of Regents meeting on September 12, 2018 in the IMU Main Lounge. Regents members discussed remodeling various buildings and sights across various Iowa campuses.

Katie Goodale

Board members listen during the Board of Regents meeting on September 12, 2018 in the IMU Main Lounge. Regents members discussed remodeling various buildings and sights across various Iowa campuses.

Katie Goodale

Katie Goodale

Board members listen during the Board of Regents meeting on September 12, 2018 in the IMU Main Lounge. Regents members discussed remodeling various buildings and sights across various Iowa campuses.

Kelsey Harrell, News Reporter

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The state Board of Regents approved the addition of computer science to the Regent Admission Index to be considered when students apply to the three state universities at their meeting on Thursday.

The Regent Admission Index is a formula that takes into account a student’s high school grade point average, number of core courses taken, and ACT score. Adding computer science to the index will create a sixth category among the core courses taken into consideration, said regent Chief Academic Officer Rachel Boon.

The index already takes English, math, science, social studies, and world language courses into account. The change will be effective for students applying for admission into the regent universities beginning summer 2021, Boon said.

The Admissions Study Team requested that the regents include four computer science courses in the index: AP Computer Science, AP Computer Science Principles, Computer Science Principles, and IB Computer Science.

“The high school enrollment in the four courses we are requesting approval for is growing,” Boon said. “You might look at that and say it’s not terribly significant yet, but that rate of growth is pretty exceptional.”

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Each course saw enrollment increases in the 2018-2019 academic year with the statewide enrollment in Computer Science Principles going from 312 to 716 students, according to regents’ documents.

There is not an even rate of growth in male and female enrollment, but both are seeing advancement, she said.

There is a good geographic dispersion of these course offerings throughout the state, Boon added.

“We wanted to be sure that whatever courses we included were not going to be favoring simply suburban districts, or those with larger enrollments that have a little more capacity to teach more classes,” she said. “We wanted to be sure that rural districts and students in rural areas were having access to these courses, as well.”

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