SLUH’s Robust Computer Science Program Equips Students for Success
(Video features Micah See '20 and Lucas Navarro '22. Scroll down for their Student Spotlights.)
SLUH’s academic program continues to set itself apart with a highly qualified and dedicated faculty, extensive electives and AP offerings, and coursework that is applicable to today’s world. The Computer Science program, a paradigm of the school’s excellence, provides engaging and expansive classes that prepare students well for the interconnected, digital world.
“We have a very robust Computer Science program at SLUH,” says Principal Ian Gibbons, SJ. “It has really grown over the years and is a unique opportunity for our students, one that few others in the Midwest have at the high school level.”
Supplementing its required Computer Fundamentals course, SLUH offers 10 electives in Computer Science – which is significant and unique for a high school. These offerings include:
- Introduction to C++ Programming
- Introduction to Java Programming
- Web Programming
- Programmable Electronics and Robots
- Introduction to Network Security
- AP Computer Science
- Advanced Computer Science Topics
- Game Programming
- Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
- STEM Innovative Product Development
In addition to offering AP credit, SLUH is the only school in the area to offer 1818 Advanced College Credit in computer science at Saint Louis University.
“Some of our courses are actually college level,” says Computer Science teacher Steve Nicollerat. “Our program lets our students determine if they want to explore Computer Science, and if they do, it makes them proficient and prepares them for college and beyond.”
SLUH’s Computer Science program, led by Nicollerat and Dan See, teaches students how to think logically and visualize a problem, break it down, then solve it in a practical manner through programming. In the Artificial Intelligence course, for instance, they learn how to make computers think and respond to the environment.
“SLUH does a great job at preparing students in various programming languages,” says Andrew Long ’14, who graduated from the Missouri University of Science and Technology. “C++ was a breeze my first semester in college, and Data Structures & Algorithms was a lot easier my second semester after Mr. Nicollerat’s Advanced Topics class.”
To supplement their pursuit of core knowledge, Jr. Bills learn about practical application in Computer Science. For instance, they have the opportunity to bring hands-on learning of robotics to urban middle-school students in more than 40 schools through the Clavius Project. They also take field trips to leading technology companies, such as World Wide Technology and Asynchrony, in addition to visiting alumni industry leaders in Silicon Valley.
Alumni often tell Nicollerat and See how the coursework at SLUH not only prepared them well for college, but also helped them earn internships that proved instrumental in launching their careers.
“SLUH’s C++ class is what got me interested in the topic and for that I’m extremely grateful,” says Joe Bettger ‘10, who graduated from Bellarmine University with a Computer Science degree. He adds that the foundation he gained at SLUH was instrumental to inspiring and launching his career as a programmer at the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank.
“The computer science classes I took at SLUH helped me get such a quick and ultimately successful start to my career,” says Kevin Meier ’09, who attended the University of Tulsa. “SLUH introduced me to the fundamental logical structures of code and their proper implementation slowly and consistently until they became almost second nature. Such familiarity has proven to be a huge asset when I am required to type large blocks of code that must be resilient and adaptable.”