COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina has been recognized as a leader in K-12 computer science education., and its partners, released Wednesday an annual report – 2021 State of Computer Science Education: Accelerating Action Through Advocacy – which outlines a comprehensive analysis of national progress in computer science education.

The report includes an in-depth view of each state’s policy and implementation, policy trends, and data on disparities in access to and participation in computer science, according to the South Carolina Department of Education.

State education leaders say the report reflects on South Carolina’s emergence as a national leader in computer science education with the highest rate (21%) of students enrolled in foundational computer science courses and 92% of high schools offering computer science coursework.

SC is tied with Arkansas for the highest percentage in the nation.

“Careers that require computer science knowledge and skills continue to grow in South Carolina and across our nation,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “I am proud of the foundation we have laid that has made us a national leader and is helping to prepare our graduates for future success in this field.”

Education leaders say South Carolina’s “climb to prominence in computer science education is a testament to the focus that has been put on the career field in recent years by state and local leaders.”

“To prepare our children for an ever-changing, 21st century economy, it is imperative we actively adapt our curriculum to changes in technology, and that is exactly what we have done with computer science education,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “Our early action in recognizing this need will provide our students with the necessary groundwork to thrive at the highest levels both academically and professionally following graduation.”

Gov. McMaster has recommended an increase in computer science education funding in each of the last three executive budgets, and the General Assembly has adopted the majority of those recommendations.