Computer Science
Computer Science

The Computer Science curriculum is intended to give all students the background in computer and communications technology they need to be successful in their high school and college courses, and to help students with special interests in information technology explore advanced opportunities in the computer field. The goal is to contribute to both the personal development and educational success of students and to help them to, as required by Illinois learning standards, “use appropriate instruments, electronic equipment, computers and networks to access information, process ideas and communicate results.” Uni High’s computer and publishing courses focus directly on these technology objectives through a required two-semester Computer Literacy course sequence and five elective courses for advanced students.

All students are required to take two one-semester courses, Computer Literacy 1 and 2, usually during their subfreshman and freshman years. These courses introduce computers and the Internet as tools for communications, research and creativity, and emphasize practical applications that will be useful to students in their future Uni High and college classes.All students are required to take two one-semester courses, Computer Literacy 1 and 2, usually during their subfreshman and freshman years. These courses introduce computers and the Internet as tools for communications, research and creativity, and emphasize practical applications that will be useful to students in their future Uni High and college classes.

The elective courses (Computer Programming, Computer Technology, World-Wide Web Development, Yearbook, and Advanced Yearbook) allow students to pursue special interests in software development, computer and electrical engineering and hardware, online and print publishing, computer operating systems and software tools. All of these courses are oriented toward practical applications using modern software and equipment similar to those used in real-life university and commercial settings.

Throughout the computer science curriculum, we stress communication between individuals, cooperation in group work and the ethical use of information technology as foundations for learning about computer applications. It is the human side of computing that is both the most interesting and the most difficult, and we hope that our students will learn to be comfortable with computer and communications technology and appreciate what it allows them to accomplish, both individually and together, while understanding both its capabilities and limitations.


Computer Literacy 1 (Fall or Spring)

(1/2 unit)

The Computer Literacy program is a sequence of two one semester courses, usually taken in the subfreshman and freshman years. The subfreshman level course focuses on skills essential to success in future high school classes, with a minimum of theory or programming. It emphasizes solid proficiency in important personal computing "survival" skills, including basic word processing, electronic mail, library resources, Internet research, online and print design and publishing, ethical use of technology, and basic use of the Microsoft Windows and MacOS operating systems.

Computer Literacy 2 (Fall or Spring)

(1/2 unit)
Prerequisite: Computer Literacy 1 or equivalent

Computer Literacy 2 is the second-semester course in introductory computer applications for freshmen (and other new students). It complements Computer Literacy 1, and focuses on group work completing a major project involving computers to research and present information on a topic chosen by the students. Students will use their skills in online research, desktop publishing, presentation software, web authoring, and data manipulation acquired during the Computer Literacy 1 course, while gaining new experience in group cooperation, self-teaching about new computer software, and integrating many different computer skills. Formal units on legal and ethical issues in information science, advanced use of library and online information resources, web development and presentation design are also included.

We offer two different sections of Computer Literacy 2 in the fall and spring semesters. One is oriented toward computer technology projects (programming, electronics, networks, robotics, etc.), and the other emphasizes creative and media projects such as audio, video, photography, design, social media, etc. Students can choose which of these interests them most on the course selection form, but enrollment will not be guaranteed, depending on how many students pick each option.

Computer Programming

10th - 12th grade
(1 unit)
Prerequisite: Computer Literacy 2 or equivalent

Computer Programming is a full year, in-depth introduction to modern computer languages and programming. It will introduce students to structured programming techniques including procedures, functions, data structures, important algorithms, program design and object-oriented programming, using C and C++ as the example languages. Students will also explore related aspects of the UNIX operating system, including shell scripts and programming tools. The curriculum includes a minimum of computer theory and history necessary to understand the programming concepts. Students must have a computing applications background equivalent to the Computer Literacy 2 course, but need not have any previous experience in computer programming.

Computer Technology (Spring)

10th - 12th grade
(1/2 unit)
Prerequisite: Computer Literacy 2 or equivalent

This course is intended as an introduction to electrical and computer engineering for students who have an interest in the hardware aspects of computer technology. It provides an overview of computer and communications technology and history, electronic logic and computer design, hardware, software development, installation and computer operations through hands-on exercises. Laboratory activities include designing and building electronic circuits, interfacing with and programming microprocessors to perform useful tasks, and experimenting with computer logic circuits. (Offered in 2019-2020, then alternating years.)

World-Wide Web Development

10th - 12th grade, or consent of department
(1/2 unit – can enroll more than once)
Prerequisite: Computer Literacy 2 or consent of department

This course is intended for students interested in the technology used to produce documents for the World-Wide Web, as well as those interested in researching, writing and editing information for electronic publication. Students in this course will be responsible for maintaining and expanding Uni High’s school Web site, and will produce and organize both existing and new material for our school’s electronic publications. The course content includes producing, manipulating and preparing photographs and graphics for Web presentation; the use of both simple and advanced HTML authoring tools; using HTML in a UNIX environment; writing scripts and programs to manipulate databases and produce interactive forms, and application development languages such as Java, Perl, PHP and SQL. Content, design, legal and editorial issues relating to the World-Wide Web and other interactive media are emphasized.


10th - 12th grade
(1 unit – can enroll more than once)

This elective course focuses exclusively on the production of the Uni High yearbook and can be taken multiple years with the permission of the instructor. Students are exposed to both traditional publishing on paper and on-line electronic publishing. Students are involved in all aspects of production including: photo manipulation, layout, and advertising. Students desiring to advance their desktop publishing and electronic photography skills should enroll in this course. Yearbook must be taken for a full year.

Advanced Yearbook: Editorship

10th - 12th grade (1 unit – can enroll more than once)
Prerequisite: Yearbook or Journalism and Consent of Instructor

Students are admitted into this course only with special permission of the instructor. It meets concurrently with the Yearbook class. Yearbook editors make a yearlong commitment to the production of the school's yearbook. Editor's duties include: determining the yearbook's content, managing staff, writing, photography, editing, designing layouts, and meeting deadlines.


DoMonique Arnold (darnold2) holds the master’s in library and information science from Illinois; as a James Scholar at Illinois, she also earned her bachelor’s degree in Latin. She has worked in the Classics Library at UIUC and at Champaign Public Library’s Frederick Douglass Branch. She has been an instructor in the Department of Educational Psychology and taught their 203-level course in Race, Ethnicity and Power. In addition to her library experience, Ms. Arnold also has worked in many community outreach positions, such as the coordinator of all educational and internship programs at the YWCA.

Joel Beesley (jbeesley) teaches Computer Literacy 1 & 2 and World-Wide Web Development as an elective for sophomores through seniors. He also teaches Yearbook. He earned his B.A. at Valparaiso University and his M.A. at Southern Illinois University.

John Garvey (jbgarvey) teaches French 1 & 2, and is on the Technology team for Computer Literacy 1 and 2. He co-sponsors the French Club, co-directs the biannual French Trip, and is the co-sponsor for the freshman class. He earned his B.A. in English and French at Frostburg State College in Maryland and his M.S. in Comparative Literature, as well as all doctoral coursework, at the University of Illinois with a concentration on French and British literature of the 16th and 17th centuries. He is the proud father of three Uni alumnae and father-in-law of two Uni alumni.