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Expanding Access to Computer Science Education

The Microsoft Technology Education and Literacy in Schools program (TEALS) pairs classroom teachers with tech industry volunteers to provide a quality computer science education for high schools across the country.

Preparing Students for Success

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Access to computer science education for all students will increase the number of women and minorities who enter the field and ensure we have the diverse points of view needed to drive innovation and continued business success in the U.S.


students earned a CS degree last year

The Challenge

Today, there are more than 500,000 open computing jobs across the country, with the demand for these jobs projected to outpace all other fields. Unfortunately, at the college level, only 49,291 students earned a computer science degree last year and less than half of our schools offer rigorous computer science education.

Learning CS empowers young people to compete in the global economy and pursue careers across all sectors because it teaches students computational thinking and problem-solving skills applicable in any industry.

The Solution

TEALS was started in 2009 by a Microsoft engineer and former high school CS teacher Kevin Wang, with a vision of bringing the benefits of computer science education to every high school. Operated by Microsoft Philanthropies, the program pairs classroom teachers with tech industry volunteers to provide a quality computer science education.

Within two years of working with a tech volunteer, 97% of classroom teachers can teach computer science on their own, creating the basis for sustainable computer science programs.

Preparing the World’s Future Innovators

Science and technology are critical drivers of today’s global innovation economy. More and more companies–across all industry sectors–are seeking people with CS and computer engineering skills.

In the U.S., there will be 1.4 million CS-related jobs by 2020, yet U.S. college graduates are expected to fill less than a third of those jobs. For American youth, this means an unfortunate mismatch between education and opportunity that we must solve by bringing together professionals from across the CS industry.

By increasing access to CS for all youth as early as possible, TEALS will help them prepare for the jobs of today and tomorrow and give them the opportunity to become creators of technology and the world’s future innovators.

Partnering with Teachers and Schools

TEALS helps high schools build and grow sustainable computer science programs through partnerships between classroom teachers and tech industry volunteers who work as a team to co-teach CS to students.

Over two years, the classroom teacher gradually takes over the responsibilities of teaching the course.

Creating a strong ripple effect, it empowers teachers who can multiply the impact by providing computer science education to hundreds more students over the years.

Dedication to Diverse Points of View

The fields of software, computing, and computer science are plagued by underrepresentation of women, African Americans, and Hispanics. In high school, the Advanced Placement (AP) exam in Computer Science has the worst gender diversity across all courses, with 78% participation by men and 22% by women. Participation by students of color is 13%.

These underrepresented groups represent 65% of the entire US population. 

Microsoft is determined to increase access to CS, especially for underrepresented populations, to help increase the number of women and minorities who enter the field, and to ensure we have the diverse points of view needed to drive the innovation required for continued economic success.

Is this a repeatable model?

TEALS is powered by tech volunteers from companies dedicated to the mission of the program. The TEALS program is an ideal setting for CS professionals to use their highly-technical skillset to inspire the next generation of computer scientists and software engineers. With strong support and encouragement, companies can engage and support their technical employees to volunteer. Companies can help bring CS to every young person by advocating for policy changes to make an impact to drive our economy forward in local communities.

Partnerships are Vital

Thanks to a partnership with the Austin chamber of commerce, TEALS is now in 35 Texas high schools.

Nationally, TEALS volunteers come from over 500 different companies. In addition to Microsoft, volunteers come from companies like Google, Amazon, Blue Cross, Northwestern Mutual, and Ford. Partnerships with top CS Universities are also critical to recruit recent graduates to volunteer to co-teach.

TEALS partners with universities like UC Berkley and University of Washington to co-create their CS curriculum, and works with organizations like the Computer Science Teachers Association to build CS teacher capacity.

Get involved and apply to be a TEALS school. Sign up to be a TEALS volunteer or learn more about the program.

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