Wednesday, May 18, 2022

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Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE): Computing in Undergrad Education

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    47.070; 47.076

    Funder Type

    Federal Government

    IT Classification

    A - Primarily intended to fund technology


    National Science Foundation (NSF)


    Computing is increasingly central to innovation across a wide range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary problem domains, resulting in undergraduate computer science, computer engineering, and information science programs being called upon to prepare larger and more diverse student populations. However, standard computing course sequences do not always serve these student populations well. Among other factors, a dearth of innovative, culturally relevant curricula and student support in undergraduate computing pathways have contributed to low participation of students from groups underrepresented in computing, leaving a huge swath of diverse talent untapped. In addition, valuable curricular reforms undertaken by a single institution often have limited impact on the larger academic community and do not account for the myriad of pathways students may take to arrive in computing courses. Given the role of two-year colleges in equipping students for both computing workforce needs and continued post-secondary education, it is also key to understand and support the many ways in which students experience these institutions throughout their computing education.

    With this solicitation, IUSE: CUE invites proposals for partnerships to re-envision how to teach computing effectively in a scalable manner focusing on those undergraduate students from groups underserved by traditional computing courses and careers. Proposals will be funded across three tracks that focus on evidence-based transformative efforts to modernize computing courses and accelerate student success in the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of current and emerging industries, and/or explore effective pathways to computing degrees and careers that involve two-year colleges and industry partnerships.

    1. The Transformation track focuses on addressing one or more key challenges areas in transforming undergraduate computing education through innovative programs.
    2. The Pathways track considers the multiple entry and exit points through two-year colleges as part of effective pathways to computing degrees and careers.
    3. The Mobilizing track aims to develop a shared national vision around innovation and inclusion in undergraduate computing education.

    History of Funding

    Previously funded projects can be seen at,1714,1998&BooleanElement=Any&BooleanRef=Any&ActiveAwards=true&#results.

    Additional Information

    Transformation Track:

    Transformation proposals should focus on one or more key challenges to re-envision undergraduate computing education. Specific challenges include but are not limited to:

    • The intersection of computing and other disciplines- This challenge seeks innovative approaches to address the growing demand being placed on CISE departments across all types of institutions of higher education.
    • Undergraduate computing courses for 2025- This challenge seeks innovative ways to update computing pathways to better provide students with the fundamental skills and understandings for the ever-changing landscape of computing careers.
    • Holistic support toward computing degrees and certifications- This challenge seeks innovative strategies that support students in their path to computing careers, with particular focus on increasing access to computing education for those traditionally underrepresented in computing.
    • Effective, inclusive, and equitable online teaching for computing- As remote education becomes more common at IHEs, it is critical that online curricula foster effective, inclusive, and equitable learning environments for a diverse student body. This challenge seeks new and innovative ways to promote inclusive online teaching and learning for computing undergraduate education.

    Pathway Track

    Pathways proposals should support and explore effective pathways to computing degrees and careers involving two-year colleges. Specifically, proposers should consider the multiple entry and exit points through two-year colleges:

    • Entry points into two-year colleges: Many school districts have made progress in implementing equitable and rigorous computing courses at the high school level but need to coordinate efforts addressing articulation into college degree programs. Proposals may explore strategies that support students in the transition from high school into a two-year college, e.g., through bridge programs, short courses, etc. At the same time, two-year colleges also serve adult learners looking to upskill or reskill to meet the demands and gain economic advancement in a growing technological workforce. Proposals could also examine programs that support these students, collaborating with local or national industry partners to align with pressing workforce needs.
    • The two-year college to four-year college transition: Students often face a range of barriers while pursuing a pathway into a baccalaureate program including enrollment caps, poorly defined transfer criteria, and the cultural differences between two-year and four-year institutions. Proposals might address any of these or other issues in an effort to better support students as they prepare for entry into four-year computing programs. 

    Mobilizing Track

    The Mobilizing track invites proposals to convene diverse sets of CISE stakeholders through a series of workshops modeled after Biology's Vision and Change movement to develop a shared national vision around innovation and inclusion in undergraduate computing education. Mobilizing CUE workshops might address curricular supports in key thematic areas such as revitalizing core courses (data structures, algorithms, systems, etc.); integration of privacy, security, and society; modernizing curricula to incorporate emerging technologies (AI, Quantum); and robust programs at the intersection of computing and other disciplines. Mobilizing CUE workshops could also consider working with industry partners to support the development of a common, scalable educational infrastructure that would ensure equitable access to curricular supports across educational institution types. Proposals can consider virtual, hybrid, or in-person approaches but must provide a rationale for the expected success of the convenings. 

    Note: proposals must include specific plans to broaden participation in computing (BPC).



  • Eligibility Details

    Proposals may only be submitted by the following:

    • Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs), including Two- and four-year IHEs (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the US, acting on behalf of their faculty members.
    • For-profit organizations: U.S. commercial organizations, especially small businesses with strong capabilities in scientific or engineering research or education.
    • Non-profit, non-academic organizations: Independent museums, observatories, research labs, professional societies and similar organizations in the U.S. associated with educational or research activities.
    • State and Local Governments: State educational offices or organizations and local school districts.

    Transformation and Pathways proposals must be comprised of a multi-institutional partnership, with a lead IHE and at least two other IHEs or other organizations. Pathways proposals must include a two-year college as part of the partnership. Proposals that do not meet this requirement will be returned without review.

    Special Instructions for International Branch Campuses of US IHEs: If the proposal includes funding to be provided to an international branch campus of a US institution of higher education (including through use of subawards and consultant arrangements), the proposer must explain the benefit(s) to the project of performance at the international branch campus, and justify why the project activities cannot be performed at the US-based campus.

    Deadline Details

    Proposals are to be submitted by August 18, 2022. A similar deadline is anticipated in 2025.

    Award Details

    Approximately $6,000,000 is available in total funding. Between 3 -6 awards will be funded. The estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds. Cost sharing/matching is not required.

    • Transformation proposals may request up to $2,000,000. The maximum duration of an award is five years.
    • Pathways proposals may request up to $2,000,000. The maximum duration of an award is five years.
    • Mobilizing CUE proposals can request up to $1,000,000. The maximum duration of an award is 18 months.

    Projects will be required to maintain a project website and attend annual PI and community meetings.

    Related Webcasts Use the links below to view the recorded playback of these webcasts

    • Funding Classroom Technology to Empower Students and Teachers - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Maximizing Technology-friendly Workforce Development Grants - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Funding Data-driven Workforce Development Projects - Sponsored by NetApp - Playback Available


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