Microsoft TEALS Program expands in ND

BISMARCK, N.D. - Microsoft and the Department of Public Instruction will be expanding the Technology Education and Literacy in Schools, or TEALS, program in North Dakota.

Microsoft is hiring a full-time North Dakota-based coordinator and volunteering some of its own employees to bring computer science to more high schools in the state.

Just last month, Bismarck Public Schools K through 12 students were learning how to code from Bobcat engineers.

Currently Hillsboro High School in the Red River Valley is the only North Dakotan high school with the TEALS program.

The 2017 legislature approved a new law that allows high school students to take a computer science course as a substitute for one of the three math courses required to graduate.

Despite being such a rural state, the DPI sees a strong need for educating students on computer science.

“Regardless of the size of people we have living here, regardless of the size of our small towns, it's identified that technology plays an integral role in the state of North Dakota,” said Matt Scherbenske, assistant director of academic support.

According to code.org North Dakota has more than 600 open computing jobs, which have an average salary of more than $70,000.