February 2, 2010 at 4:47 pm 7 comments

The NSF CISE (CS-stuff) Division is cancelling the CPATH (CISE Pathways to Reinvigorate Undergraduate Education) and BPC (Broadening Participation in Computing) programs. The April CPATH call for proposals has been cancelled. Right now, the May BPC call is still going forward. We’re told that CISE is creating a new program to fund work in computing education, from middle school level up. All currently funded proposals will be honored. This does raise questions about the efforts started that will require additional funding, like the creation of the new APCS exam, the CS 10K effort (to create 10K high school CS teachers in 10K schools by the time the new AP CS starts in 2015), and the renewals for the BPC Alliances, like Georgia Computes!

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What if “CS1” is just a really bad idea? Cyberellas?

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Alfred Thompson  |  February 2, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Wow! What’s the reason for this change?

    • 2. Mark Guzdial  |  February 3, 2010 at 11:03 am

      I don’t know. Jan Cuny, Camsie Matis, and Harriet Taylor were at the BPC Community Meeting, but as NSF employees, they weren’t allowed to say. Lots of rumors going around. One rumor that I buy is that we computer scientists and computing educators ought to write our representatives in Congress and tell them that we value BPC and want it to continue. Not clear if that will help, but it could hardly hurt.

  • 3. Deborah Crawford  |  February 5, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Just wanted to clarify that CISE’s BPC program WILL receive proposals as planned in May this year, anticipating the funding of new awards in the fall of 2010. There is no doubt about this – so Mark’s “for now” statement is designed, I guess, to be a little provocative. CPATH will not accept new proposals in April 2010 because almost all FY 2010 CPATH program funds were committed to new projects established in the last CPATH competition.

    In the summer of 2010, CISE plans to release a new broadly-scoped solicitation that will incorporate the most promising components/promising practices of the CPATH and BPC programs, with increased focus on middle and high school education in computing (making its scope consistent with the CS AP and the CS 10K projects, so no need for Mark to worry there) and education research.

    Like the BPC and CPATH programs, the new program is likely to draw on partnerships among academic institutions, as well as other organizations similarly committed to ensuring broad participation in the computing disciplines and to more effective computing education.

    • 4. Mark Guzdial  |  February 5, 2010 at 1:33 pm

      Thanks very much for the clarification, Debbie! It’s great to hear assurances about the scope and information about the timeline for the new program.

  • 5. Tucker Balch  |  February 7, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    I’m glad DARPA will also be offering funding for CS education.

  • 6. Tucker Balch  |  February 7, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    This blog post is cited elsewhere, see: http://usacm.acm.org/usacm/weblog/index.php?p=774

  • […] computing education.  To have some big wins, to scale up some efforts to go after big goals (like CS 10K) would be a benefit for everybody.  Who should go after this win?  What would be the criteria for […]


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