Alex Payne jokes with classmate Savannah Haynes as Haynes attempts to draw Mickey Mouse using code in Java script. Hardin County has the only Girls Who Code chapter in Kentucky that is not conducted as a club. Photo by Bobby Ellis, Jan. 30, 2017

Kentucky is among a cohort of seven states selected to join the Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) Alliance.

Funded by the National Science Foundation and Google, the ECEP Alliance is leading efforts to advance access to quality computing education across the United States.

Kentucky is committed to advancing statewide participation in computing initiatives and is working toward providing equitable access to computer science courses for all students in the state’s K-12 education system through data-based planning, including policy analysis and identifying groups with limited or no access to computer science education.

“We must work together to provide students with the skills they need to thrive in our globally interconnected world. America’s changing workforce has taught us the importance of computer science and digital literacy education,” said Jason E. Glass, Kentucky’s Commissioner of Education. “Joining the ECEP Alliance will allow Kentucky to learn from and work with other states and organizations committed to improving computer science education.”

States working with the ECEP Alliance pursue systemic change at the state level, resulting in more diverse students pursuing educational paths in computer science.

“By gathering advocates from across the computing education ecosystem, ECEP states build the teams needed to advance computer science education and educational policy reform,” said Sarah Dunton, director of the ECEP Alliance. “This diversity of voices and expertise helps states to focus conversations on equity in computer science education and build sustainable strategies.”

By joining the ECEP alliance, Kentucky continues to work toward the goals of United We Learn (UWL), the state’s vision for the future of education. The three big ideas of UWL are community collaboration, innovation and rich learning experiences for each Kentucky student.