High School - Administrator and Counselor Questionnaires

Outlier Research & Evaluation surveyed high school counselors and administrators after they participated in Code.org’s one-day professional development session in Fall 2014. The Administrator/Counselor Professional Development Questionnaire was a post-PD questionnaire designed to measure respondents’ satisfaction with the professional development session, as well as the following dimensions of respondents’ attitudes:

  1. Value of computer science for students;
  2. Value of computer science for the external community; and
  3. Commitment to making computer science “happen” in their schools.

A total of 96 school administrators and counselors from Broward County FL; Boston; Chicago; Charles County MD; Denver; Seattle; and Spokane completed the survey.

Respondents believe that computer science is necessary for high school students, but feel less strongly that it should be required.

When asked, “How necessary is it for high school students to learn computer science?” administrators and counselors agreed overall that it is indeed important for students, with a mean response of 4.1 out of 5. However, they agreed less with the statement “How important is it for all students to be required to take computer science?”, resulting in a response mean of 3.6 out of 5. This indicates that while the respondents do believe that learning computer science in high school is important, they do not believe as strongly that it should be required of all students. Respondents also agreed that learning computer science would be important for students’ ability to secure well-paying jobs. Participants responded more positively to the item “How important is learning computer science for your students’ future employment?” than to any other item measuring “value of computer science for students,” with a mean response of 4.3 out of 5.

Respondents reported that the professional development “somewhat” influenced their values and beliefs about computer science and computer science education for students.

Respondents were asked to reflect on their experience in the Code.org professional development and respond to items measuring whether the experience changed their opinion about the value, importance, and need for all students to have access to computer science courses. Counselors responded to all three items more positively than did administrators, indicating that the professional development had more of an impact on counselor values and beliefs than on administrators.

Nearly a third of all respondents felt that the school did not have the resources necessary to teach computer science courses.

Though respondents were enthusiastic about the value of computer science courses for their students, 29% of counselors and school administrators reported that they "slightly disagreed" that their school had the material and instructional resources needed to teach their districts’ computer science offering, the Exploring Computer Science (ECS) course.