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ACM Education Policy Committee

The ACM Education Policy Committee is a high-level committee of acclaimed computer scientists and educators dedicated to improving opportunities for quality education in computer science and computing-related fields. Chaired by Jeffrey Forbes, Computer Science Professor at Duke University, the Education Policy Committee develops initiatives aimed at shaping education policies that impact the computing field. A primary goal of the EPC is to ensure that computer science education is recognized in educational initiatives at all levels of the educational pipeline.

Computer Science Education Is Critical to a 21st Century Workforce

EPC Report 2014

pathways.acm.org


In March 2014, the ACM Education Policy Committee issued a report urging states to provide more opportunities for students to gain the skills and knowledge needed to compete for these high-wage positions. The report, Rebooting the Pathway to Success: Preparing Students for Computing Workforce Needs in the United States, calls on education and business leaders and public policy officials in every state to take immediate action aimed at filling the pipeline of qualified students pursuing computing and related degrees, and to prepare them for the 21st century workforce. The report provides recommendations to help these leaders join together to create a comprehensive plan that addresses K-12 computer science education and that aligns state policy, programs, and resources to implement these efforts.

Computing jobs are among the fastest growing areas of employment in the United States. By 2020, one of every two jobs in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields will be in computing. These occupations pay extremely well, providing opportunities for U.S. workers to embark on dynamic careers, enjoy a good standard of living, and contribute to the innovation that drives the country's economic growth. High-skilled, high-wage computing jobs are found in all regions of the country and in every significant industry sector. Moreover, computer science knowledge and skills are becoming increasingly important to success in virtually every career.
  • The projected number of job openings in the United States needing a computer science or computing-related background will average about 150,000 annually for the next decade. Most of those computing jobs will require some type of postsecondary education.
  • In 2012, less than 3% of the one million high school students who took Advanced Placement (AP) exams in STEM subjects took the AP Computer Science A exam.
  • In 2012, less than 20% of AP Computer Science A test-takers were female, even though females represented 55% of all AP test-takers.
  • In 2012, only 18% of Bachelor's degrees in computer science were awarded to women.

Mission

The Education Policy Committee will engage educators, industry, policymakers, and the public on public policy issues in computer science and computing-related education. It will focus on steps to ensure that high-quality computer science education is identified as a critical component of education policy.

The Education Policy Committee will:
  • Review, research and gather data and information on issues that impact computer science and computing-related education in primary, secondary, and higher education systems
  • Determine if current education policies and the education systems generally are adequately serving the computing field and recommend improvements
  • Comment on proposals before governmental bodies that impact computer science education and the computing field
  • Educate policymakers and the public on the foundational role and importance of computer science education, its importance as a core discipline within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, and its importance to the labor market and the economy
  • Provide expertise on key computer science education policy issues to education, industry, and policy leaders

Resources/Links






Members 2014-2016

Jeffrey R. N. Forbes (Chair)
Duke University

Joanna Goode
University of Oregon

Susanne Hambrusch
Purdue University

Elizabeth Hawthorne
Union County College

J Strother Moore
University of Texas

Mark Nelson
Computer Science Teachers Association

Kelly Powers
Education Development Center

Susan Rodger
Duke University

Deborah Seehorn
Computer Science Teachers Association

Chris Stephenson
Google

Mark Stehlik Senior Adviser
Carnegie Mellon University

Robert B. Schnabel ex officio
ACM CEO and Executive Director

Fabrizio Gagliardi ex officio
ACM Europe Policy Committee Chair

Eugene Spafford ex officio
ACM U.S. Public Policy Council Chair
Purdue University

Renee Dopplick ex officio
ACM Director of Public Policy



ACM Reports



ACM Statements