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CSPG 71 - Computer Science 7-12

Modified: April 1, 2022

Computer Science is defined as the study of computers and algorithmic processes, including their principles, their hardware and software designs, their implementation, and their impact on society.

Grade Level Scope of Certificate

A person holding a valid Pennsylvania Computer Science 7-12 certificate is qualified to teach computer science courses in grades 7 through 12. A person holding this certificate is also qualified for assignment in the sixth (6th) grade. (See CSPG #104)

Certification Assignment

An educator holding a valid Pennsylvania certificate for Computer Science is qualified to teach courses based on the Computer Science Teachers' Association (CSTA) K-12 standards and concepts including: algorithms and programming, computing systems, data and analysis, impacts of computing, networks and the internet. Additional related sub-concepts include, but are not limited to cybersecurity, devices, hardware and software models, inference, modularity, network communications, safety, law and ethics, social interaction and storage.

The STEM and Computer Science FAQ provides additional resources including the Computer Science Teachers Association (CTSA) K-12 Standards, organizations supporting computer science education, and clarification on credit designation for computer science courses

Certificate Clarification

  • Educators holding any of the Pennsylvania public school certificates listed below and employed to teach computer science in a Commonwealth LEA on December 31, 2022 may continue to do so in the grade level limitations consistent with their certificate.
    • Science 7-12 Certificates
    • Mathematics 7-12 Certificate
    • Middle Level Math and Science Certificates 6-9
    • Grades 4-8 certificates with Math and/or Science concentrations (applies to teachers of 7th and 8th grades)
    • Business Computer Information Technology PK-12
    • Technology Education PK-12
  • Anyone employed to teach computer science in grades 7-12 for the first time in a Commonwealth LEA after December 31, 2022 or who holds one of the certificates listed above and accepts employment to teach computer science in grades 7-12 in a new Commonwealth LEA after December 31, 2022 must hold the PDE-issued computer science certificate.
  • Educators who hold the following certificates with training can teach computer science consistent with the grade limitations of their certificate at the PK-6 grade level.
    • Elementary K-6 with recommended training
    • Grades PK-4 with recommended training
    • Grades 4-8 with recommended training (applies to teachers of grades 4-6)

Special Considerations

An educator certified in this field may:

  • Provide professional development;
  • Serve in the role of mentor or advisor; and
  • Assist students in understanding how to read content area materials.


Program Specific Guidelines for Certification.

Computer Science Teachers’ Association (CSTA) K-12 Standards for Computer Science

PA Public School Code: §1202,  §1212, §1604

22 PA Code: Chapter 4: §4.22(c)(3),  §4.23(c)

Chapter 49: §49.11, §49.81, §49.85

There are no previous printing dates on this certificate area.

Summary of Changes

​Date of Revisions​
​Major Changes to CSPG # 71
​Added definition of computer science and link to approved standards