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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Mississippi State University
  • Steven M Grice
  • (662) 325-9242
  • Michael Taquino
Award Date:05/25/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 142,587
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 93,796
  • FY 2021=$93,796
Start Date:06/15/2021
End Date:05/31/2024
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.076
Primary Program Source:040106 NSF Education & Human Resource
Award Title or Description:Collaborative Research: A Data-Driven Employer-Academia Partnership for Continual Computing Curricular Change
Federal Award ID Number:2110850
DUNS ID:075461814
Parent DUNS ID:075461814
Program Officer:
  • Ellen Carpenter
  • (703) 292-5104

Awardee Location

Street:PO Box 6156
County:Mississippi State
Awardee Cong. District:03

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Mississippi State University
Street:129 Etheredge Hall
City:Mississippi State
County:Mississippi State
Cong. District:03

Abstract at Time of Award

This project aims to serve the national interest by improving the supply of well-prepared computer science professionals capable of addressing the needs of American employers in the public and private sectors. This project intends to build a national partnership between employers and academia to help identify and mitigate gaps between the competencies of computing graduates and the expectations of potential employers. The project will survey computer science educators and practitioners to develop a model that defines the competencies expected by potential employers. The project team then plans to test the model at three institutions of higher education in Alabama – the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Tuskegee University, and Shelton State Community College. Finally, the project team intends to develop tools and methods for institutions to identify and implement competency-based educational approaches for computer science across the nation. The project plans to use three interconnected strands of evidence-based activities to institute transformational change in the involved communities. First, a national strand will engage U.S. faculty in developing competency-based curricula informed by industry practitioner feedback. Second, a local pilot strand intends to create transformative curricular change based on student competencies using an evidence-based change model in the three Alabama institutions. Sociologists and computing faculty on the team will help to understand, predict, and reduce barriers to competency-based employment of computing graduates from marginalized communities in the heart of the impoverished Alabama Black Belt. The unique perspective relative to diversity, equity, and inclusion needs should serve as a model for other computing departments. The third strand will develop competency-based surveys for practitioners and academics to identify and refine specific competencies that are hoped to drive continual curricular change. Outcomes, including the change process, national workshops, and experiences from the local process will help with transferability in the computing education community. In addition to informing curricula, the project will provide valuable data for educational researchers to help close the gap between employers and higher education. Finally, as the competency approach to curricular design is relatively new in computing and engineering disciplines, lessons from this project will have the potential to transform curricular review and design in other STEM disciplines. The NSF IUSE: EHR Program supports research and development projects to improve the effectiveness of STEM education for all students. Through the Institutional and Community Transformation track, the program supports efforts to transform and improve STEM education across institutions of higher education and disciplinary communities. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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