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An Equity Lens for Scaling: a Critical Juncture for Exploring Computer Science

Abstract

"Exploring Computer Science (ECS) is one of the programs that has expanded and scaled in the last five years. And, with this growth, come new questions, pressures, and challenges. We write this article at a time when we are reflecting on these challenges and questioning how we assure that the ECS mission of equity and democratizing computer science knowledge for all students remains strong.

We begin the article with a brief summary of Exploring Computer Science development and expansion. We then review a part of our early history that exemplifies how numbers are often the first indicator if success in broadening participation, yet numbers can also be superficial and misleading. We follow this with a discussion of what we need to learn now, the challenges before us, and how we measure programmatic success. We hope that the questions posed in this article will be useful for the larger community and for programs also beginning to scale, whether they are ECS, Computer Science Principles, or other curricular efforts to broaden participation in computing."

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