Computer Science & Technology Act Guidance

Nebraska Revised Statute 79-3301 to 79-3305, known and cited as the Computer Science and Technology Education Act, outlines the requirements for instruction in Computer Science and Technology. Additionally, 79-729 specifies the Computer Science and Technology requirement for high school graduation.

 

  • The graduation requirement for the Computer Science and Technology Act is required for all public schools.
  • Beginning with the school year 2024-2025, each public school district shall include computer science and technology education in the instructional programs of its elementary and middle schools, as appropriate.
  • Students in the class of 2027 (current 8th graders in 2022-2023) in public schools must complete at least one course in computer science and technology (as defined by Nebraska State Statute 79-3004) as a graduate requirement.
  • Each school district shall provide an annual computer science and technology education status report to its local board of education and the State Department of Education.

Frequently Asked Questions

Nebraska Revised Statute 79-3303 states that computer science and technology includes, but is not limited to, knowledge and skills regarding computer literacy, educational technology, digital citizenship, information technology, and computer science.

  • Computer Science: The study of computing systems and algorithmic processes, including their principles, their hardware and software designs, their applications, programming, networks, data, and their impact on society (Adapted from K12cs.org; Tucker et. al, 2003). Computer science builds on computer literacy, educational technology, digital citizenship, and information technology (K12cs.org).
  • Computer Literacy: General use of computers and programs (i.e., computer applications) such as productivity software. For example, performing an Internet search or creating a digital presentation.
  • Educational Technology: Applies computer literacy to school subjects. For example, students in an English class can use a web-based application to collaboratively create, edit, and store an essay online.
  • Digital Citizenship: Appropriate and responsible use of technology, such as choosing an appropriate password and keeping it secure.
  • Information technology: development, maintenance, and use of computer systems, software, and networks for the processing and distribution of data.

Beginning with school year 2024-25, each school district shall include computer science and technology education in the instructional programs of its elementary and middle schools, as appropriate, and beginning in school year 2026-2027 (2022-2023 8th graders), require each student attending a public school to complete at least one five-credit high school course or the equivalent of a one-semester high school course in computer science and technology prior to graduation. In other words, a five (5) credit high school course is in essence equivalent to a one-semester course. This required coursework may not be embedded in other curricula throughout a high school student’s secondary education; rather, the course must be a standalone class equaling five (5) high school credits or an equivalent one-semester course.

  • 8th Grade: 2022-2023
  • 9th Grade: 2023-2024
  • 10th Grade: 2024-2025
  • 11th Grade: 2025-2026
  • 12th Grade: 2026-2027

Each school district is able to determine which course best satisfies its needs to meet the computer science and technology graduation requirements as long as it satisfies the necessary components found in Nebraska State Statute 79-3303.

The following course recommendations reflect current (2022-2023) course options within the Nebraska Department of Education’s Course Codes and Clearing Endorsements manual that meet the computer science and technology definition within the law as including all of the following: knowledge and skills regarding computer literacy, educational technology, digital citizenship, information technology, and computer science. Each of the courses below is at least one semester long:

  • Foundations of Computing (270704)
  • IT Fundamentals (270504)
  • AP Computer Science Principles (270702)

Standards for these courses can be found within the Communication and Information Systems Programs of Study.

If a course not listed in the Nebraska Course Codes and Clearing Endorsement manual is used to meet the requirements of the Computer Science and Technology Act, school districts will need to provide additional details about the standards met through course instruction in their annual computer science and technology status report.

No. This required coursework may not be embedded in other curricula throughout a high school student’s secondary education; rather, the course must be a standalone class equaling five (5) high school credits or an equivalent one-semester course.

Yes. Rule 10 (section 003.05B) states that school systems may adopt a policy allowing high school credit to be awarded to students enrolled in a middle grades course if the course content and requirements are equivalent to a course offered in the high school. Refer to Nebraska State Statute 79-3304 for additional information on the graduation requirement.

Yes. Rule 10 (section 004.04D) provides information on multi-site and distance learning options for providing high school courses, including synchronous and asynchronous course options. Note that a teacher holding a valid Nebraska Teaching Certificate must teach the course. A teacher without the appropriate endorsement may monitor and assign grades, which would count against the 80% endorsements requirement per 007.03A in Rule 10.

For teachers to be considered appropriately endorsed for their assignments, they must teach the grade levels and subjects indicated on their certificate. All approvable endorsements by course can be found within the Nebraska Course Codes and Clearing Endorsements.

For the three recommended courses above, the following endorsements would be considered appropriate:

  • Foundations of Computing (270704)
    • Endorsements: 0304 (Business, Marketing, Info Tech); 1100 (Mathematics); or 2701 (Information Technology)
  • IT Fundamentals (270504)
    • Endorsements:  0304 (Business, Marketing, Info Tech); 2701(Information Technology); or 2911 (Information Technology – CE)
  • AP Computer Science Principles (270702)
    • Endorsements: 0304 (Business, Marketing, Info Tech); 1100 (Mathematics); or 2701 (Information Technology)

Per the Computer Science and Technology Act, (79-3305) a school district must report to its school board and the State Department of Education on or before December 1, 2025 information including, but not limited to, student progress in computer science and technology courses and other district-determined measures of computer science and technology education progress from the previous school year. Additional guidance will be provided.

For additional information, contact:

Dr. Marissa Payzant
Assistant Administrator, Office of Teaching, Learning & Assessment
Director of Content Area Standards
Email: marissa.payzant@nebraska.gov
Phone: (402) 937-2070

Dr. Katie Graham
Administrator, Office of Career, Technical, & Adult Education
Email: katie.graham@nebraska.gov
Phone: (402) 937-2809

Jacqui Garrison
Communication & Information Systems Career Field Specialist
Email: jacqui.garrison@nebraska.gov
Phone: (531) 530-7648

Updated November 17, 2022 11:01am