Frequently Asked Questions
Most questions can be answered by reviewing our Professional Development page, but below are some questions that are often asked by interested teachers and schools.
6Q. Which PD format should I take?
The PD you choose to enroll in will depend on your background and your preference for fast vs slow paced. You can use this flow chart to help you determine the PD that would be a good fit for you.
Q. I am a teacher outside of the United States. Can I participate in the CSAwesome PD?
Yes, Teachers outside the U.S. are welcome to participate in the PD concurrently with an online cohort provided they have sufficient appropriate English language skills.
Q. I am a high school computer teacher at an independent school and do not hold a valid state teaching certificate. Can I still participate in the CSAwesome PD?
Yes, independent school teachers are eligible to participate.
Q. I am offering the CSA/Java course at the middle school level. Can I still participate in the CSAwesome PD?
Yes, however the curriculum is geared at an advanced placement level.
Q. Does the CSAwesome PD satisfy the College Board Summer Institute requirement to teach AP CSA
Yes! CSAwesome is endorsed by the College Board as an AP CSA curriculum and PD provider. The CSAwesome PD can be considered an alternative to attending the College Board AP Summer Institute workshop. However, you may decide to participate in both.
Q. My school is planning to offer AP CSA, but the course is not scheduled to run until the following academic year. Can I still participate in the CSAwesome PD?
Q. Do I have to teach the course as Advanced Placement (AP)?
No. One of our primary goals is to broaden participation in computing. We encourage teachers and schools to offer the course at whatever level is most appropriate for their students.
Q. When can I register for PD?
You can register at any point up to 30 days before the PD start date (varies by PD). In some cases, some PDs may have earlier deadlines. Check our Professional Development page for available PDs and any special deadlines.
Q. What is the difference between online and hybrid / in-person PD?
CSAwesome offers our PD in two different formats: online and hybrid. The online PD is completed entirely online with no required in-person meetings, but there are required 2-3 weekly virtual meetings with your assigned PD Facilitator and other participants in your cohort. The hybrid PD blends in-person and online training. Both formats will complete similar schedules and assignments. Our research has shown no significance difference in learning outcomes between the two formats. In other words, both the online and hybrid format will adequately prepare teachers to implement and successfully teach the CSAwesome curriculum.
Q. How do I determine whether I should participate in the intro, extended, or immersion option?
While we typically recommend extended for beginners and immersion for experienced CS teachers, however, teachers are welcome to participate in whichever program they see fit. Below are the explanations of the different options:
Intro | This is a 20 hour professional development course recommended for teacher who have no prior programming experience with Java, but do not intend to teach the AP CS A course within the next year at their school.
Immersion | This is a 50 hour professional development course (including out-of-class assignments) recommended for teachers who have significant background in CS, such as college courses in CS, experience teaching CS, or extended self-study of CS. Prior programming experience with Java or similar text-based languages is recommended.
Extended | This is a 90-100 hour professional development that is equivalent to taking a college-level Introductory programming course. This PD is recommended for teachers with no prior Java programming experience or teaching experience in computer science.
Q. How often do participants meet during online PD?
Teachers participating in the online professional development are required to attend an orientation about a month before the PD begins and then attend regular meetings during the professional development. The number of meetings will vary depending on the length of the PD you register for. For example, PD Facilitators for the 4-6 week PD will be hosting 3 to 4 meetings per week and teachers are required to attend at least 2 of those meetings. PD Facilitators for the one week immersion PDs will host daily meetings Monday-Friday that participants are required to attend.
Q. Are there certain times that I need to work on the PD? What scheduled activities are teachers expected to complete?
Immersion | Hybrid / In-person & Online | Throughout the week, teachers will work in cohort to complete predetermined lessons, activities, and assignments. Teachers may need to complete lessons before arriving to the PD.
Extended | Hybrid / In-person | On the days where lessons are completed in-person, teachers will work together in groups to complete lessons and units. Teachers must be present for the in-person days. For the other portions of the training, teachers will complete the assignments before the due date and attend at the scheduled meetings with PD Facilitator and cohort.
Online | With the online training, there are no required in-person meetings. However, teachers must attend at the scheduled virtual meetings with their PD Facilitator and cohort. The PD lessons can be completed at each teacher’s leisure before the due date assigned by the PD Facilitator. PD Facilitators are available throughout the PD to provide ongoing support and asynchronous communication.
Q. What will be covered during the PD?
Teachers will work with a PD Facilitator to complete predetermined assignments and a pacing guide. Teachers are provided a set of lessons and units that they will work on before the deadline. Teachers will work through the student materials to learn and experience exactly what their students will in the course. The student material lessons are supplemented with review of the teacher materials. Participants in the PD are expected to complete the assigned student lessons and reflect on the teacher materials. During the synchronous meetings with the assigned PD Facilitator and cohort, teachers will discuss the lessons, units, and best practices they have learned. The PD Facilitator’s role is to support and lead teachers through the course and help guide them through the lessons. PD Facilitators are available throughout the PD to provide ongoing support and asynchronous communication. Learn more here: CSAwesome PD.
Q. Are there funding opportunities available to participate in the PD?
Yes. The CSAwesome Project, through its support from the National Science Foundation, state grant funding, and special partnerships, has a limited amount of funding for scholarships for participating schools and teachers. These scholarships are intended for teachers in school districts that cannot afford the tuition. Scholarships will prioritize teachers and schools that have never offered AP CS A , are transitioning from offering AP CSP, serve underrepresented students, and have high percentages of free-and-reduced lunch students. Learn more and apply here: CSAwesome Scholarship.
Some PD locations may provide additional funding to support teacher participation.
Contact the CSAwesome Team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Q. How do I submit payment?
If applicable, once your registration submission via Eventbrite has been reviewed, CSAwesome will send you an email with an invoice and further information on how to submit payment. Payment must be submitted one month before PD begins.
What kind of PD does CSAwesome offer?
The CSAwesome Professional Development offers differentiated opportunities for teachers of varying backgrounds. For those who are experienced with Java and/or teaching CSA, we have a shorter 45 hour PD. For those who are new to Java and have not taught CSA before, we have a brief intro PD as well as a more intensive 65 hour PD that focuse on learning how to program with Java.
For those Experienced with Java and AP CSA - Short Online 6 hour PD (covers teaching AP CSA with CSAwesome and pedagogy)
For those Experienced with Java - Immersion 45 hour PD (covers AP CSA, using CSAwesome, Java content, and pedagogy)
For those New to Java - Extended 65 hour PD (the 45 hour PD plus 20 hours of Java specific PD)
For those New to Java - Intro 20-25 hour PD (includes Non-AP Java basics and pedagogy), for those not planning to teach the AP CSA course.
Do teachers have difficulty transitioning from CSP to CSA?
It can be challenging, but we provide the support, including access to a PD Facilitator/Mentor for the academic year and a group of teachers
Is the PD self-paced?
Guidance and a pacing guide are provided by a PD Facilitator and participants work together in small groups.
How much does the PD help support teachers to serve students with disabilities?
Check out our site www.inclusivecsteaching.org for more information.