Posted: October 10, 2013
New Hampshire students can now graduate from high school with a college certificate in computer programming, thanks to a new offering from Manchester Community College and the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (VLACS).
The certificate is designed to prepare students for careers in computer programming, and provide the skills necessary for entry-level positions in the field. The certificate program consists of six 100 percent online courses which confer both high school and college credit. The first three courses can be taken beginning in October 2013, in iOS Application Development, Introduction to Programming using C#, and Introduction to Programming using JAVA (as one of three platform options). The next two courses in the sequence will be offered starting in January of 2014, in HTML Web Programming and a choice of Android Application Development or Windows Application Development. The final courses in the certificate program will be offered starting in September of 2014, in Data Structures and Elementary Algorithms and Object Oriented Programming.
The program, open to all NH high school juniors and seniors, was developed to create an educational pathway for high school students to earn a computer programming certificate through CCSNH's eStart program. eStart is a partnership between CCSNH and VLACS enabling students to earn dual high school and college credit through online courses taught by college instructors. Courses taken through eStart, including those in the new computer programming certificate program, are offered at $150 per course. While high school students can take dual enrollment courses through eStart in a wide variety of fields, Beth Doiron, CCSNH Director of College Access Programs, said the desire of CCSNH and VLACS is also to create pathways for high school students to earn a full college credential through a sequence of related courses in high-demand, high-skill fields. Students can complete the courses in less than two years and earn the programming certificate upon graduation from high school.
Susan Huard, president of Manchester Community College, said "High school students have been very successful taking community college courses through the Running Start program and online college courses through eStart. Now they have an opportunity to earn a full certificate in computer programming from MCC by the time they graduate from high school. This will put them far ahead on their college and career pathway and help to develop New Hampshire’s STEM workforce pipeline."