Fostering State-level Change In CS Education: The Expanding Computing Education Pathways Alliance

Authors: Jeffrey Xavier, Alan Peterfreund, Rebecca Zarch, Rick Adrion, Renee Fall, Mark Guzdial, Barbara Ericson, Sarah T. Dunton, Tom Mcklin


Efforts to improve and promote CS education characterized by greater participation of underrepresented groups have taken off sharply in the six years since the Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) NSF alliance was first funded. Though many of these initiatives are occurring at the student and teacher level, ECEP and other national-level organizations have demonstrated the importance of focusing on change at the state level, as this can have important, long-term implications on policy and infrastructure. This poster describes ECEP’s emergent design as a backbone organization helping state-level teams achieve educational change around CS. It also highlights key lessons learned through the alliance about how to foster CS education change at the state level. Four key lessons stand out. 1) The importance of understanding that engaging states requires appreciating the commonality of a framework around key areas to change (such as state standards, teacher certification and graduation requirements) but also respecting the uniqueness of state circumstances in these change areas. 2) The shared value created through a collective impact model to build a community that can support rich discussion and sharing of ideas. 3) The utility of an empirically derived a 4-stage model of state change used by ECEP that emphasized defining leaders, understanding the CS education landscape and finding allies to support efforts. and 4) The role of state team structures that can facilitate change when they are guided by identifying and engaging key stakeholders within a state and giving them a voice in driving the strategies and plans.

Xavier, Jeffrey & Peterfreund, Alan & Zarch, Rebecca & Adrion, Rick & Fall, Renee & Guzdial, Mark & Dunton, Sarah & Mcklin, Tom. (2019). Fostering State-level Change In CS Education: The Expanding Computing Education Pathways Alliance. SIGCSE ’19: Proceedings of the 50th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education. 1254-1254. 10.1145/3287324.3293812.

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