In the fall of 2016 the Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) Alliance principal investigators and co-principal investigators Rick Adiron, Mark Guzdial, Barbara Ericson, and Renee Fall put out a call to ECEP state teams with the aim of transitioning ECEP leadership. Prior to ECEP first receiving funding from the National Science Foundation, the PIs and Co-PIs worked on various broadening participation in computing efforts in Massachusetts and Georgia. Ready to pursue new research projects, they decided to seek new state leaders to continue and grow the ECEP Alliance. By late summer 2018, a new leadership team for ECEP 2.0 was in place.
With Dr. Carol Fletcher of UT Austin as the principal investigator and Debra Richardson of UC Irvine, Anne Leftwich and Maureen Biggers of IU Bloomington, Leigh Ann DeLyser of CSforALL, and John Goodhue of Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center as Co-PIs, ECEP 2.0 officially launched this fall at the 2018 ECEP Convening. Sarah Dunton stayed on with ECEP, moving from ECEP Manager to the Director of the ECEP Alliance, ensuring continuity in ECEP’s mission and vision. The 2018 ECEP Convening, held in conjunction with the CSforALL Summit in Detroit, Michigan, was the largest ever, with 29 state teams in attendance. In addition to the 17 ECEP states, six new state teams were adopted into the Alliance, and an additional six state teams that had applied but were not adopted simply due to ECEP capacity issues (budget, staffing etc.) attended.
State teams participated in a day and a half ECEP Convening prior to joining the CSforALL Summit. The convening focused on four themes: Define, Rethink, Strategize and Build, offering state teams and the new leadership the opportunity to refine current strategies, and for new state teams to learn and strategize. Teams attended plenary panels, participated in workshops and spent time in state team strategic planning sessions facilitated by ECEP leadership. These sessions resulted in the development of a roadmap, intended to guide broadening participation in computing work once teams returned to their states.
After the ECEP Convening, all teams joined the 2018 CSforALL Summit. As with the past CSforALL Summits, this was an opportunity to hear about innovative programs and projects from across the US. By the time of the summit, ECEP had already delivered on our 2018 CSforALL Commitment to invite 6 new states to join the current 17-state computing education network and support each state, in collaboration with K-12, higher education, industry, and research communities, to develop strategies that foster statewide equitable computer science education for underrepresented populations.
Preservice teacher education was a topic that weaved in and out of many panels at the Summit. Dr. Carol Fletcher of ECEP, along with CSforAll Co-Founder and ECEP Co-PI Leigh Ann DeLyser and Michigan State University Professor Dr. Aman Yadav, participated in a fireside chat about the importance of preservice teacher education in the CS equity conversation.
The ECEP Alliance leadership is already looking forward to the 2019 CSforALL Summit, and the excellent opportunity it provides to build community with leaders from across the US working to achieve computer science for all.