Did you learn SAS programming in high school?


For many people, their first experience with SAS programming occurred during their time at university.  Depending upon how long ago that was, this experience might have been characterized by late night sessions in a statistics computer lab, hoping the one person who knows SAS really well is on duty since it’s now the night before your assignment is due.  Things have certainly changed.  Now, SAS is taught in departments across the university and it’s become an integral part of the curriculum.  Students these days are graduating, in some cases with 3 SAS certifications under their belt.  These students are in high demand for their SAS skills.

That’s not all that’s changed. SAS is now taught in several high schools in the US.  In 2008, a small group of teachers from Alabama, Florida and North Carolina attended a week-long workshop at SAS headquarters to learn to teach SAS programming in their high school programs.  The program has continued to grow each year and this week SAS is hosting two groups of high school educators who are excited about teaching SAS programming to their students.

HS teachers

High School teachers participate in SAS programming workshops

Twelve teachers are on the SAS campus this week learning to teach the SAS programming 1 for High School course. These teachers represent high schools in AL, DC, KS, MD, NY, NC, PA, TN, and TX.  The SAS course they will be implementing is designed for high school students who have already completed a computer programming course and are looking to further expand their programming skills.

For students who want more SAS, there is also an advanced SAS programming course. There are five teachers on the SAS campus this week learning to teach the SAS Programming 2 for High School course.  Wayne Clemons is a teacher at Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology in Charlotte, NC and is among those here to learn to teach more advanced SAS programming.    SAS has really taken off at Phillip O. Berry.  During the upcoming school year, Phillip O. Berry will be offering 13 sections of the SAS course to their students.  Wayne shared that “including a SAS programming course into our STEM program puts a 21st Century Skills ‘tool set’ into our students hands. Students enjoy the challenge and have fun using SAS. In fact, several of our students are already exploring career opportunities related to having SAS skills and one student has already joined a local SAS users group”.

This is an exciting program.  Students who have learned SAS in high school are now starting to enter college already equipped with SAS skills.  These SAS skills will serve them well as they take their college courses and begin working with big data which is now becoming more and more prevalent in the college classroom.

If you are interested in teaching SAS programming at your high school and would like more information, visit the SAS High School Programs website or contact: highschool@sas.com.


About Author

Julie Petlick

SAS Student Programs Manager

Julie Petlick works in the SAS Education Division as part of the Global Academic Program team. Julie is responsible for the SAS Student Program and is dedicated to supporting teaching and learning.

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    • Julie Petlick
      Julie Petlick on

      Thanks Brian. This has been a great group of teachers here this week and I can't wait to hear how it goes for you and your students!

  1. Skills acquired at a younger age tend to be more ingrained and become a natural component of a person's "tool box" when faced with decision points. Eventually some of these kids will become budgetary decision makers and with them being SAS fluent, then SAS becomes a better candidate in the $$$ decision. Quite simply, this education is one component that primes the sales pump.

  2. Brian Bowman on

    I learned basic SAS programming in the early 80's during College and within 3 years of writing my first SAS program I was working in here in R&D! It's great that young people are now doing this at an even younger age. Not only will SAS as an organization reap many benefits from this, but the students are more likely to become passionate about technology by learning such innovative software.

    • Julie Petlick
      Julie Petlick on

      Thanks Brian. You're right, that's what it's all about and we've already heard from some high school students who learned SAS and then decided to pursue STEM majors in college!

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