Opened in 2011, DePaul Cristo Rey High School in Clifton is known for its curriculum that combines college prep courses with work study.
In the coming school year, it is planning to add computer science to its course offerings, as the school was selected to be an Amazon Future Engineer school. The program is a partnership between multinational tech giant Amazon and a smaller, private company called Edhesive. It’s designed to improve access to computer science education in communities that are underrepresented in the tech field.
The selection will enable DPCR to offer a computer science course with curriculum, resources, and software provided through the Future Engineer program. Teacher Kevin Walker will receive professional development training funded through the program to prepare for teaching the classes, which will be electives offered to seniors.
The Future Engineer program provides more than 2,000 schools that serve underrepresented and underserved communities with Intro to Computer Science and AP Computer Science classes designed by Edhesive.
Amazon says there will be 1.4 million computer science-related jobs available this year, and only 400,000 computer science graduates with the skills to apply for those jobs.
The Future Engineer program is one way the rapidly growing company wants to create a pipeline of potential workers, and is part of a $50 million investment in computer science training, education, and equipment it has pledged to make over five years.
“We know that coding is the language of the future,” Amazon says. “STEM education and computer science are ingrained into the work many Amazon employees rely on day in and day out.”
DePaul Cristo Rey has been a one-to-one computer laptop school since its inception in 2011, meaning every student receives a laptop for course work.
The school is sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati and offers an education model to students whose families need financial assistance to afford a private, college preparatory program. This school maintains a corporate work study program under which students work five days a month with one of more than 100 corporate partners.