If you’ve been looking for a computer science curriculum to use this fall, I found one you might like! It’s been developed by the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University and is free for homeschooling families to use. You can choose to pair this with the AP Exam (resources below) for high school and potential college credit, or choose one of their lighter classes for “just” high school credit.
CMU CS Academy is a project in Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science (SCS) that has the goal of developing a novel, world-class, online, interactive high school computer science curriculum that is entirely free.
CMU CS Academy began when co-founders, and professors in SCS, David Kosbie and Mark Stehlik were approached by Pittsburgh Public School teachers, asking for a computer science curriculum to meet their students’ needs.
If your child is homeschooled you have the option to apply for a teacher account.
In order to provide you with access to a teacher account, we need to be able to confirm your position as a homeschool educator. For that we need you to share with us some paperwork. It doesn’t need to be on a website but we do need a way to confirm that you are a formal teacher approved by your state, district, or agency. We realize this looks very different depending on state regulations and mandates and depending on your locality but we are happy to work with you to get what we need.
CMU CS Academy currently offers three different graphics-based computer science curricula in Python. Each curriculum uses interactive notes, autograded exercises, creative tasks, and projects. The notes help explain various topics and include interactive checkpoints to help check for students’ understanding of the concepts covered. Additionally, our autograded exercises help students practice concepts learned directly from the notes and our creative and collaborative tasks help students apply what they have learned to create something of their own! Find out which curriculum best suits your classroom!
Our CS1 curriculum is a deep dive into the fundamentals of programming concepts and teaches text-based coding using Python. CS1 is predicated on the notion that learning about programming and computer science should be fun and engaging. In our introduction to programming course we expose students to graphics-based problem solving because it is visually engaging, allows for multiple correct solutions, and provides visual cues when a solution goes awry.The Flagship
Who is it for?
This free CS1 curriculum is designed for high school classrooms. No prior programming experience is required. 12 UNITS~120 HRS OF INSTRUCTION Read More
CS0 is a lighter version of our CS1 curriculum, some might call it a splash into the fundamentals of programming. It is designed to engage and excite future CS1 students. This curriculum is taught using text-based coding in Python. CS0 also revolves around graphics-based problem solving and has similar visually-engaging notes, checkpoints, exercises, and projects for students to complete.
Who is it for?
CS0 is designed for middle school classrooms, out-of-school programs, and summer camps. Like CS1, no prior coding experience is necessary. 4 UNITS~40 HRS OF INSTRUCTION Read more
Who is it for?
This curriculum is designed for classrooms offering AP CSP. Our curriculum meets the needs of students who have no prerequisites as well as those who have previously taken our CS1 course by providing multiple entry points. 5 UNITS~56 HRS OF INSTRUCTION Read more
Get College Credit in Computer Science
Learning independently (2021-2022 school year) followed by taking the AP Computer Science exam next Spring can result in college credit. The AP exam is offered each May and requires (very) advanced registration. Students who pass the AP Computer Science exam with a score of 3 or higher (out of 5) are generally awarded 3 college credits. Read more.
In addition to the courses above, AP exam prep should include a solid AP exam prep guide. A favorite among Homeschooling for College Credit families is AP Computer Science A: With 6 Practice Tests (Barron’s Test Prep) That book is rated EXCEPTIONALLY high by users as a solid choice for a high score.
Other options for Computer Science from HS4CC:
Python, Linux, Cybersecurity, and more!
Cisco Networking Academy has a catalog of 5 classes you can use for your teen this year! Though these won’t generate college credit, you can award high school credit -my recommendations follow.
Walmart-Funded College Degree in Computer Science from University of Florida (a top program!)
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2 thoughts on “Computer Science Classes & AP Exam”
Wonderful resources!!! Just what I was looking for. Thank you for sharing!
You’re welcome! Happy to help.
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