Southeastern and partners awarded LDOE funding


Tuesday, November 21, 2023
by: Tonya Lowentritt

     HAMMOND – The Louisiana Department of Education has awarded a $1.67 million contract to Northshore Regional STEM Center, led by Southeastern Louisiana University in partnership with Northshore Technical Community College and LaSTEM. 
     Appropriated by the Louisiana State Legislature, the funds will be used to develop and deliver 40-hours of computer science Praxis exam training through multiple cohorts to 1,000 sixth through 12th grade teachers statewide. The project will be led by the Northshore Regional LaSTEM Center Director Wendy Conarro, Southeastern Interim Computer Science Department Head Bonnie Achee, and Dean of the College of Education Paula Summers Calderon.
     As part of the LDOE initiative to “Ignite, Inspire, and Energize” computer science education across Louisiana supporting education and industry, the training will be held virtually in March and April, with a hybrid cohort in June.
     “In Louisiana, the fastest growing industry is professional, scientific, and technical services, which is composed of much of the technology industry,” said Conarro. “Software developers and network administrators are among the 10 fastest growing occupations in the state requiring a college education, yet the state is producing fewer than half of the graduates needed to fill computer science related jobs.”
     The Louisiana Legislature Computer Science Education Advisory Commission and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education concluded that it is in the public interest a comprehensive computer science education initiative be undertaken to ensure Louisiana has citizens who have the expertise to perform the technology skills embedded in most professions, Conarro explained, who can meet the ever-increasing workforce demands in the technology sector and who can envision and grow the next generation of technological advances.
     “It is the intent of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Louisiana Department of Education to create a comprehensive statewide computer science education program that benefits all citizens, flows seamlessly between all levels of education, and meets the needs of a dynamic and competitive economy,” she said.
     For more information about the training to be offered, visit

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