What is ACCESS?
The Alliance for California Computing Education for Students and Schools (ACCESS) is a statewide network of computer scientists, K-12 teachers, professors from community colleges through universities, educational policy advocates, and related industry professionals.
What does ACCESS Do?
ACCESS is committed to advocating for high-quality K-12 computer science education in California and making sure it is accessible to all students, specifically for traditionally under-represented students: girls, low-income students and students of color. We are concerned with three major themes around computer science education:
- Equity and Access – we’d like to guarantee that quality computer science education is available to all students in all schools and that students are prepared for meaningful opportunities to pursue college and careers.
- Quality Computer Science Curriculum – we work to ensure rigorous, relevant and culturally responsive computer science curriculum for students in K-16, including community college pathways in Information Community Technology Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
- Teacher Capacity – our efforts focus on making sure teachers have the resources, training and opportunities to teach quality computer science courses.
Who does ACCESS partner with?
ACCESS participates in a national collaboration, Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP), a Broadening Participation in Computing Alliance funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), whose primary goal is to increase the number and diversity of students in the pipeline to computing and computing-intensive degrees. ACCESS joins the Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education (CAITE) in Massachusetts, Georgia Computes! and South Carolina to share strategies and best practices to expand quality computing education pathways in California.ACCESS works closely with Code.Org, Computing in the Core, Computer Science Teachers Association, as well as Exploring Computer Science and Computer Science Principles communities. ACCESS membership is diverse throughout California and we are open to partnering with other organizations and individuals with shared goals.
What are the goals of ACCESS?
- Elevate and secure the status of K-12 computer science education so that industry, parents, students, and our state’s policymakers prioritize, engage, and provide resources for quality computer science education in California;
- Ensure equitable access to computer science for all K-12 students in California, especially for students traditionally underrepresented in the field such as girls, low-income students, African-American, Latino students and students with disabilities;
- Establish a computer science certification pathway for K-12 teachers in California, and ensure that quality professional development is available to these teachers;
- Update state standards for computer science education and advocate for computer science to count for core credit (math or science) in high school graduation and UC/CSU eligibility and admissions;
- Scale up successful K-12 computer science education models and curricula, such as Exploring Computer Science and Computer Science Principles, to be emulated throughout California and in other states;
- Streamline computer science educational pathways for students entering community college and preparing for careers in computer science and/or transition to four-year colleges and universities.
How can I get involved?
There are three ways to get involved in ACCESS:Individual affiliation: As an individual member, you will be included on our listserve and you will receive periodic updates, news and information about computer science education opportunities in California.ACCESS Steering Committee: This is a small group of individuals who founded ACCESS in 2009 and they govern most decision-making and governance within ACCESS.
ACCESS Taskforce Committees: You will be consulted on various issues and asked to be engaged in advocacy that will have a broad impact on computer science education in California. We are seeking experts for the following taskforce committees:
- State Policy
- Computer Science Curriculum
- Industry/Workforce Development
- Transfer Pathways (HS/Community College/University)
Who can I contact for more information or join a committee?
Julie Flapan, ACCESS Executive Director, (949) 228-9761, Flapan@gseis.ucla.edu