Computer Science Magnet Program
A group gathers around the screen of a computer trying to find and protect system vulnerabilities while maintaining critical services for a large organization. They have just six hours to secure the system. This isn’t the scene in a tech company’s IT department, this is just part of the learning experience students in the Computer Science Magnet Program can expect.
The Computer Science Magnet Program is a four-year course of study for students who wish to explore computer science or computer engineering. The purpose of the program is to provide students with the opportunity to undertake a disciplined approach to the study and application of computer science. Students will develop programming and other technical skills where the application of scientific methods will yield the creation of high quality, computer-based solutions to real problems.
The goal is to provide students a solid and rigorous background in computer science principles and requisite mathematical skills to build proficiency in the problem-solving techniques of computer science, and to provide graduates with the background and the skills necessary to continue their education in college or enter the workforce or military service. Students take at least one computer science course each year and a specialized mathematics course during the first two years of the program. Freshman and junior years focus on Java, while sophomore year introduces GUI languages, and in senior year, students continue to work with C++ and database programming. In partnership with Vydia, students in the Computer Science Magnet Program have the opportunity to partake in summer internships to apply their knowledge and skills.
Guest speakers come in throughout the school year to speak about various topics in the field of computer science. Past guests include representatives from Google, Microsoft, Merck, and the New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell.
Every year, our students successfully compete in several programming contests. Freehold High School is the only school worldwide to have four students win the Google Code-In competition. For this reason, the Google Code-In Program Manager kicked off the 2015 Google Code-In at Freehold High School to honor the program's achievements. At Monmouth University's Programming Contest, students continually earn top honors including a 1st place win in 2018. Since the group began participating in Rowan University's Programming Contest in 2013 students have placed in the top four each year. Additionally, students have placed in the top three of the Gold Tier State Round at the Air Force Association CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Defense Competition and in the American Computer Science League. Other competitions including Lockheed Martin Code Quest, Widener University’s Programming Contest and ACSL All-Star Contest allow the Computer Science students to shine with continued victories. Throughout the year, students participate in various hack-a-thons, including the Freehold Regional High School District’s and events for outside groups like Merck.
After graduation, 92% of Computer Science students continue their study of computer science or another STEM major such as information systems, mechanical engineering, cybersecurity, or physics. Graduates of the program have been accepted to Carnegie Mellon, the University of California-Berkeley, Stevens Institute of Technology, University of Maryland, Georgia Tech, NYU, NJIT, Princeton, Rensselaer, Rochester Institute of Technology, and many other prestigious schools.
Any student interested in pursuing a career in the wide field of computer science with benefit greatly from the curriculum and real-world experiences the Computer Science Magnet Program provides.