Broadening computing in California through ACCESS

Monday, July 14, 2014

ECEP partner ACCESS is playing an active role in reforming Computer Science education in the state of California. Below, some highlights of their recent accomplishments and upcoming plans. 

Diversifying Computer Science education by training teachers
In collaboration with University of Virginia’s Joanne and Jim Cahoon, ACCESS/ECEP and University of California Irvine will host a Tapestry Workshop for teachers to learn to attract and engage underrepresented students into high school CS classes.  The workshop will be held July 29-31 at UC Irvine.  Thanks to the National Science Foundation, NCWIT, CSTA and university sponsors, this workshop is free to teachers. 

The goals of the workshop are to share strategies, research-based practices, and field-tested good ideas for teaching computer science in a way that reaches all students regardless of gender or ethnicity.

Highlighting the importance of Computer Science in STEM education
ACCESS/ECEP will present two sessions at the 2nd Annual California STEM Symposium on September 22 and 23, 2014 at the San Diego Convention Center. The Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation, in cooperation with the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls will bring together 3,000 teachers, administrators, students, higher education representatives, program providers, philanthropic representatives and industry representatives to engage them in STEM education by providing strategies and resources for program implementation.
 
The Symposium will have a special focus on increasing and supporting the participation of women and girls—as well as other underrepresented groups—in STEM fields.  ACCESS/ECEP will join with Alexis Martin, Level the Playing Field Institute, Elena Fajardo, CDE Language Policy Leadership Office, and John Landa, Exploring Computer Science to present an interactive session for teachers.  A second presentation from ACCESS will offer an overview of California’s proposed computer science legislation.

Promoting pathways to college
ACCESS/ECEP is an active member of the regional consortia with the LA and Orange County deputy sector navigators to enhance the Information Communication Technology/Digital Media Sector of the California Community Colleges Chancellors' Office Department of Economic and Workforce Development. ACCESS was awarded a mini-grant of $10,000 to organize and present a transfer summit on August 7, 2014 at UC Irvine to increase community college transfers to 4-year universities in computer science.  A second follow-up project will plan a community college day for students to expose them to university-level research projects and students in CS. 
 
Supporting Computer Science district implementation in LAUSD
ACCESS participated in the creation of a resolution with Los Angeles Unified School District passed unanimously by the LA School Board in February to develop a strategic plan to expand computer science offerings throughout the district.
 
Drawing media attention
1) Op-ed in the Orange County Register
http://www.ocregister.com/articles/science-541030-computer-students.html 
2) Girls and Underrepresented students to code
http://www.fastcoexist.com/3023167/want-to-get-girls-and-minorities-into-coding-stop-making-computer-science-an-elective
3) CA petition is highlighted in VentureBeat
http://venturebeat.com/2013/12/09/teachers-start-25-state-petitions-to-add-computer-science-to-grad-requirements/
4) National Public Radio quotes ACCESS
http://www.scpr.org/blogs/education/2014/01/07/15490/with-shortage-of-computer-science-classes-students/
5) Spring issue of CUE magazine, "Kids & Coding” quotes  ACCESS
http://www.cue.org/oncue
6) Techwire mentions ACCESS
http://techwire.net/california-lawmakers-looking-computer-science-instruction/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=california-lawmakers-looking-computer-science-instruction