Sequencing CS courses

Can you tell me more about students who aren’t right for the class because they are too advanced.
I am trying to decide how to write the pre-reqs for my class for next year.
Sounds like this should be BEFORE they take AP-Computer Programming, correct?
Is the prereq of just completing Algebra1 good?
Thanks –


I have taught the course to students who completed AP CSA. The Internet material is different enough that students had plenty of new material to learn. You may need to adjust the programming unit for students with significant programming experience.

The Algebra 1 requirement helps ensure that students have some basic algebraic skills. More importantly, students do need a level of maturity to deal with the independent thinking and learning.


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@anmrobnott can you say more about how you adjust the programming material? I would love to hear what you do!

BTW I totally agree with your suggestion on maturity level. I have one freshman in the course, but his maturity exceeds that of some of my seniors. I think Algebra 1 is a good suggestion if you NEED to put pre-recs in the course catalog, but if possible I would add a disclaimer about “pre-rec can be waived with instructor approval”


I was able to move faster through the curriculum in that section. I still didn’t finish the whole thing but I was able to get some experience with Unit 4 (which is now Unit 2).

CSP is a 10th grade class in our computer science career pathway. I have some freshmen in the course because they attended a technology magnet middle school. There are a few upperclassmen because the class meets the technology education graduation requirement.


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@anmrobnott, @kaitie_obryan, you both have a point about maturity. In my CSP class, I have a sophomore that has demonstrated maturity and insights that surpassed his classmates who are juniors and seniors. As far as adjusting the programming unit, I plan to highlight the similarities with Java and JavaScript then move on to the deeper lessons. I agree with Algebra I as a pre-req however, the pre-req may go away with the implementation of our CS pathway. Is there a quantitative way we can evaluate students (9th grade) maturity before recommending them for the course?