Program seeks to remedy shortage of skilled engineers, educate future tech workforce
(NEW YORK, April 2, 2018) — In response to the unmet demand for engineers, Edhesive, one of the leading STEM providers to US schools, is collaborating with Amazon to bring computer science education to tens of thousands of U.S. students for the 2018-2019 school year in a co-branded initiative. With nearly one million unfilled jobs in computer science today, this program will increase access and affordability for students who currently do not have access to CS education to prepare them for the future workforce.
“We want to remove barriers for students to learn CS at the most critical phases of their education and reward those who persist with early software engineering internships. This is in the hope that they’ll join us working at Amazon or in the broader tech industry once they complete the Amazon Future Engineer Pathway,” said Ian Simpson, VP of Marketplace Tech at Amazon.
Through a collaboration with Amazon, Edhesive will provide students with free access to AWS Educate – Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) global initiative, which gives students and educators tools to build skills in cloud technology. Through AWS Educate, members receive access to a variety of resources to explore the AWS cloud, including AWS Promotional Credits, free access to labs and curated content designed to introduce students to cloud computing basics.
In addition, schools that are not currently offering Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science can apply to be considered for complimentary access to Edhesive’s AP Computer Science courses for the 2018-19 school year. Applications will be accepted starting immediately and will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
“One of the root causes for the computer science shortage is that there are not enough teachers with subject knowledge to teach a class. That’s why we built our courses in a way that offers intensive student and teacher support -- meaning teachers don’t have to be computer science experts,” said Emily Grad, co-CEO of Edhesive. “As a result, our programs have led to a pass rate above the national average on the College Board’s Advanced Placement Computer Science exam.”
Edhesive’s mission to dramatically increase access to the highest-quality computer science and courses has reached more than 1,000 schools nationwide. As one example of its reach, since 2014 Edhesive has partnered with the Delaware Department of Education to provide AP Computer Science to any student within the state, doubling the number of students taking AP Computer Science A, one of the two available AP Computer Science courses.
This is all one component of the Amazon Future Engineer Pathway. The program creates accessible learn-to-work opportunities for students through three key components:
- AP CS courses from Edhesive, including the cloud and AWS Educate
- College tuition scholarships
- Paid Amazon Future Engineer internships in software engineering
By providing access to tools and support every step of the way, Amazon Future Engineer Pathway is designed to create opportunities for students to be successful in learning and working in the world of computer science. In 2017, all AFE interns were assigned and completed Alexa Skill projects, resulting in the creation of Alexa Skills aimed to help third party sellers manage and monitor their business on Amazon.
Currently, little more than 22 percent of US high schools offer AP Computer Science courses, leaving millions of students without access to in-demand skills. Not only does the lack of computer science in high schools grow the skills gap in a way that directly impacts the economy, it also contributes to a continued lack of diversity in the technology sector’s hiring pool. Studies have shown that women who take AP Computer Science in high school are 10 times more likely to major in the subject in college; black and Hispanic students are seven times more likely to do so. In the absence of computer science programs in classrooms, independent courses or tutors can be costly, putting it beyond the reach of lower income families.
Students, teachers and schools that enroll in Edhesive’s computer science courses will enjoy a holistic approach that goes significantly beyond textbooks. The program’s resources include direct-to-student and direct-to-teacher learning resources and scalable expert support, making it an ideal option for schools that are implementing a computer science program for the first time. Written by experts who have experience teaching concepts to high school-aged students, the courses boast Interactive coding activities, personalized feedback, an online student forum and a dashboard to track student progress.