ECEP Welcomes Seven New Statesby: News Author UncreditedPublished: April 25, 2023 UncategorizedThe Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) Alliance is pleased to announce the acceptance of seven new member states, increasing our membership to 29 states and the territory of Puerto Rico. ECEP welcomes Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin to our most recent cohort of states broadening participation in K-16 computing. With the support from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and Google.org, the ECEP Alliance will work with these new states to improve equitable capacity for, access to, participation in, and experiences of quality computing education. “We believe deeply in our collective responsibility to expand access to computer science education across the country, especially for communities underrepresented in technical fields. We're excited to welcome additional states to the Alliance and to continue our support of ECEP's critical work to empower state leaders and educators to drive systemic change," said Nicole Brenner, Google.org Education Manager.States working with the ECEP Alliance pursue systemic change at the state level, resulting in more diverse students pursuing educational paths in computer science. “By gathering advocates from across the computing education ecosystem, ECEP states build the teams needed to advance computer science education and educational policy reform,” said Sarah Dunton, Director of the ECEP Alliance. “This diversity of voices and expertise helps states to focus conversations on equity in computer science education and build sustainable strategies.” For this cohort, ECEP accepted proposals that reflected state efforts that were both advancing strategically and states that were just beginning to define the work that is required to advance state-wide broadening participation in computing (BPC) initiatives. Applicants were asked to identify obstacles, strategies, goals, and successes in their proposals. “Illinois is thrilled to join ECEP. The national statistics for Latinos in the tech workforce needs to change since it currently consists of only 8% Latinos and 2% Latinas," stated Caroline Sanchez Crozier, CEO & Founder of Latinx DLN. Caroline adds that “ECEP will help Illinois accelerate that change by joining advocates and leaders like the Illinois State Board of Education, higher education, LULAC, CS4IL, Latinx DLN, and others in an effort to disrupt the tech status quo with innovation, resources, and greater representation of educators of color upskilled with computer science in all K12 classrooms.”New states will join a network of state leaders working to untangle the complex web of factors that produce inequitable outcomes for marginalized students. States will interrogate state data to identify specific student populations that have not been included in computing pathways, explore their state’s educational ecosystems and policies to determine the root causes of disparities in access and participation in computer science education, and identify equity-explicit policies to address systemic barriers to broadening participation in computing. “As an ECEP state, Maine will be well-supported in its ongoing efforts to provide universal access to computer science education for all students and to continue to broaden participation in all aspects of computer science learning,” said Emma-Marie Banks, a Computer Science Specialist at the Maine Department of Education.Since 2012 the ECEP Alliance has been funded through grants from the National Science Foundation, serving as an integral partner in the mission to broaden participation in computing. “As one of the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Broadening Participation in Computing Alliances, the ECEP Alliance is leading systemic change across states. ECEP’s data-driven and context-specific approaches help state policymakers identify which students are missing from K-16 computing pathways. NSF deeply appreciates ECEP’s integral role in supporting the vital mission to broaden participation in computing,” stated NSF Program Officer Allyson Kennedy.The ECEP Alliance is headquartered at The University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Advanced Computing Center. More information about ECEP can be found at ecepalliance.org or by contacting ECEP Principal Investigator, Carol L. Fletcher, Ph.D. at firstname.lastname@example.org.