Earn your certificate online: Learn to incorporate coding, computational thinking, and basic programming in your pedagogy. 

The certificate program in Experiences in Applied Computational Thinking (EXACT) prepares K-12 educators to implement computational thinking in their teaching and learning spaces. Designed for beginners, this program helps teachers develop their own computational thinking and coding skills as well as those of their students. This certificate is a 30-week part-time program geared toward working professionals.

What Sets Us Apart

  Online learning modules: learn anytime, any place
101 Beginners welcome: no prior experience in coding or computational thinking needed
15 studentsWith just 15 students per cohort, enjoy the benefits of a small learning community

About the Program

The Experiences in Applied Computational Thinking (EXACT) program is an online certificate program that provides an introduction to computational thinking and coding for educators who have no prior experience with coding or computing in K-12 classrooms. 

Application deadline
February 22, 2023
Entry term(s)
Course requirements
6 modules
Duration of program
2 semesters

Cost$6660 ($3330 per semester)

Certificate/Licensure offered

  • Penn GSE Certificate in Applied Computational Thinking
  • Pennsylvania Act 48 credits

Professional developmentEquivalent of 12 Continuing Education credits

  • Part-Time
  • Certificate
Programs for Working Professionals
Teacher Programs & Certifications

The Experiences in Applied Computational Thinking (EXACT) certificate program is designed by Penn GSE and Penn Engineering’s renowned GRASP Lab to provide educators with an understanding of computational thinking through experiential learning using current theory and practice in the field of computer science. 

We welcome beginners to the program — beginners who would like to incorporate computational thinking in their pedagogy. Computational thinking can enhance students’ problem-solving skills, empowering them to become confident and successful problem solvers in an increasingly complex world. With this program, educators come to understand computational thinking, re-examine how computational thinking can fit into their current lessons, and become part of a community and professional learning network.

Contact Us


EXACT’s program of study develops teacher expertise in computational concepts (coding concepts such as loops, sequences, data), computational practices (problem solving practices that occur in coding such as debugging, reusing, remixing), and computational perspectives (understanding of themselves and their relation to a digital world around them). The program also introduces cutting-edge applications of computers in real-world contexts, such as natural language processing, computer vision, and robotics.

Specifically geared toward educators who have no prior experience with coding or computing in K-12 classrooms, the EXACT program will:

  • Help you develop computational thinking skills and basic programming skills
  • Serve as a starting point to advanced computer science education courses
  • Encourage coding and computational thinking within the K-12 classroom environment.

Program of Study

The program modules follow the sequence below.

EDCE 588 and 589: Introduction to Computational Thinking 

Participants begin the course by understanding the need for computational thinking in the 21st century classroom, and exploring ways in which it can be made explicit in their teaching spaces. Through an introductory coding platform, participants build introductory level computer science skills and explore the basics of coding languages. This develops the thinking skills and language around coding, such as variables, loops, and conditional statements.

EDCE 590 and 591: Introduction to Python and Machine Learning

In these modules, participants will be introduced to programming in Python, and will learn to program the Raspberry Pi. They will need to solve computational thinking problems using computer hardware, peripherals, and machine learning in a guided learning experience. 

EDCE 592 and 593: Project-based Computational Thinking

Building on previous modules, participants use applications such as natural language processing or computer vision to solve a relevant problem. It culminates with an immersive project designed to apply computational thinking processes in a real-world scenario. The final project of the program requires teachers to work collaboratively to create a lesson plan or an extended curriculum that incorporates computational thinking in their subject areas.

*Note: Penn GSE Certificates are awarded as a standalone, non-credit bearing education credential.

Our Faculty

Betty Chandy
Director for Online Learning, Catalyst @ Penn GSE
Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania

Veena Vasudevan
Postdoctoral Fellow, American Museum of Natural History
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Shamya Karubaiah
Doctoral student, University of Pennsylvania

Penn GSE Faculty Betty Chandy
Director for Online Learning, Catalyst @ Penn GSE
Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania

Our Graduates

The Experiences in Applied Computational Thinking certificate program helps promote:

  • Educators who understand the need for computational thinking in the 21st century classroom
  • Educators who are comfortable using computational thinking to solve problems and applying computational thinking to real-world scenarios
  • Educators who are prepared to incorporate computational thinking into their subject areas