Expanding Pathways in Computing (EPIC)

WeTeach_CS
 

Projects

Code.org Partnership

The University of Texas at Austin's EPIC program is a Code.org regional partner. This program provides professional development to K-12 educators using Code.org curricula and resources. Learn more about Code.org.

Lone Star STEM - Education Innovation and Research (EIR) grant sponsored by the US Department of Education

The Lone Star STEM Project, led by Jobs for the Future (JFF) in partnership with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas, will demonstrate an exemplary approach to improving and expanding STEM education. The Project will scale across the State of Texas evidence-based College and Career Readiness Models (CCRMs) that incorporate dual enrollment as a core strategy, with a specific focus on computer science (CS). All of the Texas CCRMs—Early College High School (ECHS); Texas Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (T-STEM) Academies; Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH); and Industry Cluster Innovative Academies (ICIA)—are secondary school models that blend high school and college coursework to help high-need students develop technical skills, earn college credit, and pursue in-demand career paths.1 The Project will scale CCRMs throughout Texas by expanding these models in rural, urban, and suburban districts—thereby increasing high-quality STEM opportunities for greater numbers of high-need students, with a particular focus on implementing programs of study that help students gain the skills, postsecondary credentials, and experience necessary to embark on well-paying careers in CS and the emerging field of cybersecurity.

CS K12 Pathways - sponsored by the KLE Foundation

The CS K12 Pathways grant supports vertical teams from Central Texas school districts to develop K-12 pathways in computer science (CS). The UT Austin goal is to help districts build the internal capacity to grow programs that are responsive to their unique contexts and that can be sustained beyond the life of the grant by:

  • Assisting school district teams with strategic planning for development of viable, multi-grade experiences in CS at a minimum of two vertically aligned schools. This includes:
    • Connecting school districts with high quality curricular, professional development, and technical resources for implementation of CS
    • Co-developing SMART goals with districts to measure progress toward their objectives.
    • Assisting districts in writing their proposal for funding and in developing a reasonable multi-year budget for completing the work
  • Providing professional development as necessary to build teacher and administrator capacity
  • Connecting district personnel with the wider WeTeach_CS community through the WeTeach_CS listserv and attendance at the WeTeach_CS Summit
  • Providing on-site coaching as needed to support implementation
  • Convening district teams biannually as a PLC to refine their plans, learn from each other, and stay apprised of new resources that could be useful in achieving their goals.

Texas Teacher Externships Program Grant Recipients

The EPIC group (formerly housed at The Center for STEM Education) awarded 20 grants to applicants from around the state of Texas to host teacher externship programs during the summer of 2018 with follow-up in classrooms during the fall semester of the 2018-19 school year as part of the Texas Teacher Externships Program. Awardees included Independent School Districts, Education Service Centers, Institutions of Higher Education, Charter Schools, and one non-profit organization.

The 20 recipients of grants from the Texas Teacher Externships Program (TEX2) in 2018 are 7 independent school districts, 5 education service centers, 4 institutions of higher education, 3 charter schools, and 1 non-profit organization. The locations are mainly in North, Central, and South Texas; but also in West and East Texas

TEX2 projects across the state provided educators with unique professional development opportunities that connected the classroom to the workplace to improve student academic achievement. By participating in a teacher externship experience, educators engaged in activities with business and industry to learn how classroom content and learning strategies are applied to the workplace. Externships not only strengthen teachers' knowledge and skills, but help them integrate new-found business/industry-based knowledge into their teaching practice.

Download the final report here: TEX2 Program Final Report (August 2019)

The grant period, which began March 1, 2018, ran through July 31, 2019. Funded by the Texas Education Agency, TEX2 provided resources and support to offer over 300 teachers interacting directly with industry leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Artifacts and resources from the grant can be found here: TEX2 Teacher Artifacts