Aug 2015 Program Report
What are Code.org's costs per teacher, cost per student?
This past summer our first cohort of teachers finished a complete 24-month cycle of district partnership and teacher professional development, allowing Code.org to calculate our all-in cost per teacher:
|Approximate cost per teacher who completes PD*
|Estimated cost per student enrolled**
Measuring all-in costs
These costs were accumulated starting from Aug of 2013 through Aug of 2015, and they include all of Code.org's organizational costs to prepare these teachers to offer computer science in classrooms. These totals cover not only the cost of the workshops, but also all of the organizational costs spent on district outreach and partnership, facilitator development, workshop planning and logistics, stipends for teachers who attend professional development, and also Code.org's own staff salaries for this work. It is an all-in view of what it costs Code.org to establish a prepared teacher teaching CS in a classroom, whether prepared directly by us, or via our network of Affiliates or via regional partners.
These costs are very important to measure, because if we think about training tens or hundreds of thousands of teachers, even little numbers matter.
By comparison, most computer science PD efforts in high school cost between $10,000 - $20,000 per teacher. We achieve lower costs because of the scale we operate at (because we amortize our fixed costs across a much larger number of teachers), and also because this is something we pay very close attention to.
As another comparison, most after-school STEM programs cost $500 - $1,000 per student. We achieve significantly lower costs because we are incorporating computer science into the school curriculum, which means that we do not need to pay for teacher salaries, building facilities, or technology devices.
Notes on methodology
*Among high school + middle school, this is only for our first cohort of teachers (the ones who began professional development in May of 2014). In elementary school, this is across all teachers.
** The cost-per-student divides our cost per teacher by the average CS enrollment we observe in classrooms. It also assumes each teacher we prepare continues teaching a similar-sized student popupation for an average of 3 years. We expect this is a pessimistic assumption (average teacher retention is 5 years, and average CS enrollment is increasing, but we'd rather guess conservatively until we can measure this).