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About CPATH Research Experiences for Teachers

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What is the CPATH Program?

Pathways to Revitalized Undergraduate Computing Education, “CPATH,” is a program created and funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, a federal government agency. The recognition of the importance of a revitalized computer science education is the impetus behind the NSF program, sponsored by the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Division(CISE). CISE has formulated CPATH to transform undergraduate computing education on a national scale with the goal of meeting the challenges and opportunities of a knowledge society where computing is essential to economic competitiveness and social welfare.

Program Goals

The CISE Pathways to Revitalized Undergraduate Education in Computing (CPATH) program recognizes the growing importance of CT in society. The goals of the program are to: contribute to the development of a globally competitive U.S. workforce with CT competencies essential to U.S. leadership in the global innovation enterprise; increase the number of students developing CT competencies by infusing CT learning opportunities into undergraduate education in the core computing fields - computer and information science and engineering, and in other fields of study; and, demonstrate transformative CT-focused undergraduate education models that are replicable across a variety of institutions. CPATH in Learning Communities Through the CPATH program, CISE challenges the academic community to identify and define the core computing concepts, methods, technologies and tools to be integrated into promising new undergraduate education models, and to demonstrate effective strategies to develop and assess CT competencies in the relevant learning communities. While aimed primarily at revitalizing undergraduate education, CISE encourages the exploration of new models that extend from institutions of higher education into the K-12 environment; activities that engage K-12 teachers and students to facilitate the seamless transition of secondary students into CT-focused undergraduate programs are particularly encouraged.

RET Program

The Directorate for Engineering (ENG), Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) in Engineering program supports the active involvement of K-12 teachers and community college faculty in engineering research in order to bring knowledge of engineering and technological innovation into their classrooms. The goal is to help build long-term collaborative partnerships between K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teachers, community college faculty, and the NSF university research community by involving the teachers in engineering research and helping them translate their research experiences and new knowledge of engineering into classroom activities. Partnerships with inner city schools or other high need schools are especially encouraged, as is participation by underrepresented minorities, women, and persons with disabilities. This announcement features two mechanisms for support of in-service and pre-service K-12 teachers and/or community college faculty: RET supplements to ongoing ENG awards and new RET Site awards. RET supplements may be included in proposals for new or renewed NSF Directorate for Engineering (ENG) grants or as supplements to ongoing NSF ENG funded projects. RET Sites are based on independent proposals from engineering departments, schools or colleges to initiate and conduct research participation projects for a number of K-12 teachers and/or community college faculty.


National Science Foundation (NSF)