Accepted to Oregon State

In July I submitted an application to the Computer Science program at Oregon State’s College of Engineering. Here’s the statement of intent that I submitted with my application:

I am applying to the online computer science program to prepare for a career teaching computer science.

After earning a degree in anthropology from Lewis & Clark College in 2009, I spent three years working as a radio producer for OPB and as an editor for WNYC. Volunteering at a high school in the evenings reoriented me toward education, and so in 2013 I took a job at an international school in the Middle East, where I now teach mathematics.

I have been interested in computer programming for years, so last summer I began devoting several hours each day to reading computer science books, taking online courses (from EdX, Udacity, etc.), and programming. Helping an elementary student write programs in Scratch and JavaScript for several months this past spring convinced me that my calling lies not just in education, but in teaching computer science.

While there are many resources for self-teaching computer science, I believe that a formal education through Oregon State is the best preparation for my planned career as a computer science teacher. I believe I will succeed in the program thanks to my demonstrated ability in independent learning and my passion for computer science.

Basically, I’m hoping that a formal education through Oregon State will better serve me as a teacher than the self-teaching route I’ve been following for the past couple years, both in terms of employment and my skill set.

I submitted my application in early July and received an email from Oregon State with my formal acceptance on August 8th. Some folks on Reddit are interested in the stats of admitted students, so here are a few:

  • Undergrad degree: Anthropology from Lewis & Clark College
  • Undegrad GPA: 3.2
  • Classes post-undergrad (all online, all A’s):
    • Trigonometry
    • College algebra
    • Differential calculus
    • Integral calculus
  • Previous computer science courses: None

Since my acceptance I’ve taken a couple orientations, taken a mathematics assessment, and met with my advisor. I’ve also registered for one class — I’ll start at the end of September with CS 161: Introduction to Computer Science I.