UTeach Institute Receives $1 Million NSF Grant to Expand and Improve CS Education for Underrepresented Urban Youth

Photo of Anthony Petrosino
Anthony Petrosino

The initiative is in partnership with NYC public schools

The UTeach Institute has been awarded a $1 million National Science Foundation grant (#1837687) to improve, in partnership with six New York City school districts, underrepresented urban students’ learning, participation, and engagement in computer science through teacher professional development and classroom implementation of the UTeach CS Principles course.

This project directly addresses the full participation of historically underrepresented minorities in CS. “This generous grant by the National Science Foundation will allow researchers to better understand the organizational conditions, pedagogical strategies, and non-cognitive approaches associated with improved engagement and success by Black and Latino/a high school students in computer science specifically and in STEM more generally,” says Dr. Anthony Petrosino, University of Texas College of Education professor and Principal Investigator for the grant.

The project also addresses the significant shortage of qualified CS teachers by focusing on the preparation and support of in-service teachers who may or may not have a background in the discipline. The project significantly benefits classroom teachers, schools, and districts, as their involvement in this research–practice partnership will encourage the development of the capacity necessary to foster and sustain systemic change.

“We are excited for the opportunity to work closely with a collection of NYC schools on the implementation of UTeach CS Principles in order to improve our support for teachers so that all students are engaged and successful in computer science coursework,” says Kimberly Hughes, director of the UTeach Institute and co-Principal Investigator.

For two decades, the UTeach pre-service teacher preparation program at The University of Texas at Austin has prepared large numbers of STEM majors to enter (and stay in) secondary classrooms. And since 2007, the UTeach Institute has recruited and supported 44 universities across the U.S. to establish their own UTeach programs.

With support from the National Science Foundation, the UTeach Computer Science program leverages the teacher development and STEM content expertise developed through UTeach to scale the UTeach CS Principles curriculum and teacher support as a  College Board-endorsed provider for the AP® Computer Science Principles program.

This is Petrosino’s third ongoing grant. He is also a co-principal investigator on the Theorizing and Advancing Teachers’ Responsive Decision Making and the Group-Based Cloud Computing for STEM Education Project.

For more information or questions, please contact Amy Winters at winters@uteach.utexas.edu, 512-232-2771 or Yvonne Taylor at yvonne.taylor@austin.utexas.edu, 512-471-3916.