Ericson is troubled by teacher cutbacks in the state, although "we hear that many teachers are retiring and they are expecting to have a huge shortage of math and science teachers," she says. This will help ensure future jobs for their IT professionals, many of whom will be certified in math and science teaching when they finish their training.
Although computer science is not considered a "core subject," Ericson, like Smith, believes exposure to computer science will enhance future job prospects for their students.
Moreover, "one of our goals is to increase the amount and diversity of the students taking computer science," she says. "You often get a lot of white and Asian males who are interested in computers. Our hope is that we will also attract more women and under-represented minorities."
—Marlene Cimons, NSF