The mission of ECEP is to broaden participation in computing by identifying and addressing the policies, pathways, and practices in state education systems that are barriers to diverse student engagement and success. ECEP state leaders believe that improving equitable capacity for, access to, participation in, and experiences of CS education will increase the number and diversity of students in computing and computing-intensive degree pathways in their states.
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In 2012 the National Science Foundation released their Strategic Plan for Broadening Participation in Computing. The Plan documented that African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and indigenous peoples, and persons with disabilities, representing over 70% of the population at the time, were and continue to be notably absent in computing in K-12, higher education, and industry. ECEP is committed to ensuring that states, state leaders, teachers, and researchers are prepared to tackle the lack of diversity in computing and confront the societal structures, and educational institutions specifically, that fail to recruit, enroll, and retain students who are historically underrepresented in computer science pathways.
ECEP facilitates and nurtures a robust learning community among state leaders through monthly virtual meetings, co-sponsorships to states that seed fund BPC interventions and research projects, coaching of state teams, and technical assistance for the creation of CS landscape reports, state CSEd summits, and other equity-explicit interventions that help states to advance their BPC goals. ECEP also supports the national dissemination of equity-explicit professional development for K-12 teachers through its Scaling Inclusive Pedagogy (ScIP) project and its partnership with the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA). A defining feature of ECEP is the Common Metrics Project (CMP), which will result in tools and protocols for consistent measurement CAPE outcomes. ECEP’s research and coaching will support state leadership teams as they establish goals for BPC, evaluate the efficacy of their BPC initiatives, and track their progress longitudinally.
Launched in 2012, ECEP began as a collaboration between two of the earliest BPC projects in Massachusetts and Georgia—the Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education (CAITE) and GeorgiaComputes!. Together, these projects facilitated state-level systemic change that improved the quality of computing education and broadened participation in computing. The ECEP Alliance now includes 22 states and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. Today, ECEP is led by teams in Texas, California, Indiana, and Massachusetts, continuing the practice of having ECEP states facilitating Alliance activities. As we have grown our reach and expanded our mission, our alliance members share these successes with other states and regions.