Massachusetts Exploring Computer Science Partnership (MECSP)

The Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) and its partners -- Advanced Math and Science Academy (AMSA) charter school, University of Massachusetts (UMass), Boston’s Broadening Advanced Technological Education Connections (BATEC) program, and the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC) -- propose to design and implement MECSP. The overarching goal of the partnership is to broaden computer science (CS) education across MA through the expansion of the Exploring Computer Science (ECS) course in high schools. MECSP will build an effective multi-sector collaboration for the ECS course and professional development (PD) model, building a cadre of Teacher Leaders who prepare other teachers to engage greater numbers and a greater diversity of students in CS education and the workforce. In order to achieve the project outcomes, the project will implement the ECS course statewide in MA, and build a statewide infrastructure with the capacity to sustain that implementation. The infrastructure will include three regional ECS PD Hubs, an online professional learning community, the leveraging of existing statewide CS initiatives through co-sponsored activities, and the engagement of industry representatives of the technology business community directly with teachers and students to help them to understand the value of CS and CS careers to the MA and national economy. EDC, its partners and advisers bring extensive expertise in capacity building, teacher professional development, broadening participation in STEM, and successful public-private sector collaborations; the PIs have a long and successful history of working at the intersection of STEM education and workforce development.

MECSP's focus on reaching students from underrepresented populations ensures that it has great potential to address significant equity issues within CS and to expand access to college preparatory CS courses for a diverse population of MA students. MECSP will also have an impact beyond Massachusetts, serving as a model for education-business partnerships that can help meet pressing STEM workforce development needs. Finally, connecting with key national organizations and leaders will ensure that lessons learned within Massachusetts are shared with a national community of stakeholders engaged in efforts to diversify CS and other STEM fields.

Project Website: N/A

Principal Investigator(s): Joyce Malyn-Smith, Education Development Center, Deborah G Boisvert, University of Massachusetts Boston, Kelly J Powers, MassCAN, Education Development Center

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