The Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) Alliance builds on five years of work by the Commonwealth Alliance for IT Education (CAITE) and Georgia Computes! and on best practices in computing education, particularly those developed in the community of Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC) Alliances. CAITE and Georgia Computes! have been successful in facilitating state-level systemic change that has improved the quality of computing education, broadened participation in computing, and increased the number of students in the pathway to computing and computing-intensive degrees.
The goal of ECEP is to have a significant impact on improving and broadening participation in computing education state by state. Increasing the number of computing and computing-intensive degree graduates, and the diversity of those graduates, requires systemic change to educational pathways. Students decide as early as pre-teens against computing as a career, but a quality high school computer science experience can change that decision. Underrepresented minority students may not gain access to quality computing education unless it is made available broadly in high schools. The diversity and reach of community colleges makes them attractive pathways for students if we can facilitate transfer and ensure success. For computing to be taken seriously in middle, high school and community and 4-year colleges requires that we define high school computing curricula, increase the number of well-trained, certified high school computing teachers, improve post-secondary degree programs, curricular alignment, advising, and retention, and generally promote K-20 computing education reform. ECEP state partners and regions should see significant improvements in their computing education, through public policy, outreach, or changes in the education system. By transferring the success of CAITE and Georgia Computes! into other states, ECEP will develop, implement, and evaluate models for replicating change at the state level.