Kentucky was recently accepted as one of seven new member states to the Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) Alliance. The organization is dedicated to broadening participation in computing by identifying and addressing the policies, pathways and practices in state education systems that are barriers to diverse student engagement and success.
Monique Rice, program director for computer science initiatives at AdvanceKentucky, and Sean Jackson, CS/IT Academy program manager at the Kentucky Department of Education, will lead the ECEP Alliance efforts in Kentucky.
“AdvanceKentucky has long worked to make computer education available for all Kentucky students, and our new membership in the ECEP Alliance is a natural extension of those efforts at the national level,” said Rice. “We’re honored that Kentucky has been selected and look forward to working with the Alliance to continue to improve capacity for computer science education throughout the state.”
Kentucky joins a total of 30 states and territories in the ECEP Alliance, which was launched in 2012. The most recent cohort of members is made possible with financial support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Google.org. States were selected through a proposal process and will focus on increasing computer science participation for specific student populations that have not been historically included in computing pathways by exploring state-specific barriers.
“By gathering advocates from across the computing education ecosystem, ECEP states build the teams needed to advance computer science education and educational policy reform,” ECEP Alliance Director Sarah Dunton said in a release, “This diversity of voices and expertise helps states to focus conversations on equity in computer science education and build sustainable strategies.”
AdvanceKentucky, an initiative of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, supports computer science education for Kentucky students through a number of programs, including professional development for educators and serving as the regional partner for Code.org. Additionally, the organization offers resources to increase the number of students enrolling in AP® courses and that prepare students for STEM careers through participation in accelerated middle school math programs. Learn more at advancekentucky.com.