Monday, October 18, 2021
The National Science Foundation recently awarded the Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) Alliance a $3.5 million dollar Broadening Participation in Computing Alliance Extension grant. ECEP will begin the transition to the Equity in Computing Education Policies, Pathways, and Practices (ECEP 3) Alliance (NSF Award Number 2137834) in late fall. The new name highlights our ongoing commitment to strategically addressing policies, pathways, and practices that will lead to more equitable K-12 computer science education.
The success of this project relies on the engagement of state teams and leaders from 23 states and territories. These leaders form a community that shares knowledge and experiences associated with ensuring equity is core to ECEP and their state’s expansion of computing education. In collaboration with state leaders across the Alliance, ECEP 3 will build state-level capacity to develop, advocate for, implement, and measure equity-explicit, state-initiated policies, pathways, and practices that broaden participation in K-12 computing by confronting the deeply ingrained systemic barriers that continue to exclude women, persons with disabilities, Blacks and African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders from computing.
ECEP 3 will accomplish this work by:
1) serving as a national hub for state leaders dedicated to broadening participation in CS.
2) supporting states to develop and implement equity-explicit policies, practices, and pathways that promote diversity in CS education across a state.
3) collaboratively developing a set of common metrics for measuring state and national progress toward equitable CS education.
4) implementing state level strategies to increase equitable capacity for and diverse student access to, participation in, and experiences of K-12 CS education.
Collaborating with the core ECEP states and territories through a collective impact model, ECEP 3 will extend our resources and services to all states. Through virtual coaching and access to ECEP services and resources such as our Summit Toolkit and soon to be released Landscape Report Toolkit, leaders in non-ECEP states will gain access to the tools and resources central to broadening participation in computing across a state.
The combination of tested interventions and ECEP 3’s on-going research will accelerate the research-to-practice feedback loop, providing state teams with promising practices to be considered for replication. Building on prior work, we will continue to release recommendations to avoid unintended consequences in strategy development and advocacy efforts, and expand state capacity for accessing, utilizing, and making data relevant to BPC accessible to more stakeholders. Much of ECEP 3’s research will be published in a series of policy equity briefs. These briefs will focus on specific BPC goals being pursued in multiple states, and will document the implementation process of the goal.
In addition to the Principal Investigator (PI), Co-PIs, senior leaders, and our project evaluator, ECEP 3’s work is guided by an Executive Board which ensures ECEP remains focused on developing actions for addressing deeply ingrained, systemic racism, classism, homophobia, and sexism that continue to create obstacles to pursuing CS education and careers. Partnerships with the Computer Science Teachers Association, and fellow BPC Alliances further extend ECEP 3’s national network.