NSF awards a grant to Rutgers CESP


September 2018 – Dr. Cindy Blitz, Executive Director at the Center for Effective School Practices, Rutgers University (RU-CESP), Dr. Thu Nguyen, Professor and Chair for the Department of Computer Science, Dr. Fran Trees, Director of Undergraduate Introductory Instruction for the Department of Computer Science, and Dr. Teresa Duncan, President of Deacon Hill have been awarded a grant of $1,000,000 for their project entitled, “The CS Teaching and Learning Collaboratory (CS-TLC), Award # 1837305.

The growing demand for professionals with computing experience in the workforce and the strong interest from young adults in pursuing computer science (CS) careers has been driving a major social investment in expanding CS education in recent years. However, there is a shortage of teachers who are adequately trained to teach students computing and computing related topics.

The CS-TLC project will (a) develop and deliver high-quality CS PD for teachers that enhances their ability to deliver instruction responsive to their students’ level of CS skill development, interests, and cultural backgrounds; (b) invest in building the capacity of school and district leaders to plan, implement, manage, and evaluate programs and policies that can support rigor and equity in CS education; and (c) engage in research and community-building activities that can improve the performance, effectiveness, and sustainability of the RPP as well as expand the size and diversity of its membership. This proposal directly addresses the issue of equity in CS education as the collaborating school districts serve students who have been traditionally underrepresented in CS including rural students, students living in poverty, and Hispanic and African American students. By working in collaboration with a network of teachers and administrators who serve these students, the team will focus on expanding pedagogical content knowledge as well as tailoring activities and assignments to address the different needs and experiences of these students providing them with opportunities for rigorous and engaging CS instruction.