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Sample Letter

Subject: promo letter
From: "scott fletcher"
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2005 12:35:46 +0000
X-Message-Number: 21

Hello everybody. I posted a couple days ago and mentioned sending a
promotional letter out to prospective students to increase enrollment.
I was asked to post the promo letter on the listserv which I've done below.
I also include a color print out that displays some screen shots of some of
the more popular program assignments we do in class.
I usually poll the Math dept for a list of freshman and sophomores who are
elible (there's an Algebra II co-requisite for the intro comp scie course)
and recommended (by their math teacher). And I suggest to them that I'm
looking for a list of around 120-150 students (there's about 300 per class
at my school) to send letters to.

BTW I read a great article this morning about retaining female cs students
using pair programming. You might want to check it out.
http://www.cra.org/CRN/articles/march05/werner.html

I wish everybody the best of luck promoting your classes!!!


Hello student,

My name is Mr. Fletcher and I am the Computer Science teacher at Park View.
I am writing this letter to a few select students in the sophomore and
freshman classes. According to Math teachers at Park View you were listed
as someone who has great potential in the field of mathematics. While
computer science is not exactly math, it is often the case that those who do
well in math also do well in computer science. In the paragraphs below I
list a few of the reasons why you may want to consider signing up for
Computer Math next year. Perhaps you will find some of these reasons
appealing and reason enough to sign up. Either way I would like to
congratulate you for being recognized by your math teachers as an excellent
achiever with great potential for success in mathematics and its related
fields of study.

What is Computer Math?

The first year course, Computer Math, and the second year course, AP
Computer Science, are courses in the art of computer programming. In
particular, they are focused on the art of programming in Java.

Java is an object-oriented programming language that is currently being used
all over the world for developing software. For programs that need to
operate over the Internet it is often the programming language of choice.

Why should I take Computer Math?

First of all, if you are one of the hundreds of Park View students who have
an interest in computers or technology you should definitely be signing up
for this course. In fact, you shouldnít even be reading any more of this
letter as you should already be attempting to get in touch with your
guidance counselor to find out how you can sign up.

Second, the skills acquired in these classes can be the first steps toward a
fascinating and rewarding career in computers. The field of computer
science is continuing to grow at a fantastic rate. According to the U.S.
Department of Labor the fastest growing occupation is that of a Computer
Software Engineer (a computer programmer). The salaries of software
engineers are also among the highest in all fields where most workers
possess a Bachelorís degree.

Now let me address those students who may not be leaning toward a career in
computers:

If you like solving problems/puzzles, you will love this course. The art of
computer programming is in its very essence, the art of problem solving. If
you like crossword puzzles, logic puzzles, or solving riddles of any sort,
this course will appeal to you.

If you are someone who likes to argue, you will love this course. Many
people compare the art of creating a computer program to that of
constructing a well-formulated argument. Those who see themselves as
someone who can confidently put together a strong argument are well suited
for transferring this skill into constructing a computer program.

Both Computer Math and AP Computer Science utilize graphics and animation to
help students realize the full extent of their programming potential. These
are not lecture and note-taking classes where the students sit idle. These
are hands-on courses in which students spend a majority of their time
experimenting with the art of programming on actual computers.

Finally, the majority of students who take Computer Math before their senior
year discover that they are enjoying the subject so much that they sign up
for the AP Computer Science course the following year. I highly recommend
students sign up to take Computer Math their Sophomore or Junior year so
that they will have the option of enrolling in the AP course the following
year should they be so inclined.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter, and I hope to see you in
Computer Math next fall.


PS (Iíve attached a page of images taken from some of the programs that
students have created with Java during the last year. Some are simple
animations, while others are interactive programs, and some are even games
that students have written as programming projects).

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