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CISE Pathways to Revitalized Undergraduate Computing Education (CPATH)

Status: Archived

Archived funding opportunity

This document has been archived.

Important information for proposers

All proposals must be submitted in accordance with the requirements specified in this funding opportunity and in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that is in effect for the relevant due date to which the proposal is being submitted. It is the responsibility of the proposer to ensure that the proposal meets these requirements. Submitting a proposal prior to a specified deadline does not negate this requirement.


Computing has permeated and transformed almost all aspects of modern life.  As computing becomes more important in all sectors of society, so does the preparation of a globally competitive U.S. workforce able to apply core computing concepts, methods, technologies, and tools - referred to here as Computational Thinking (CT) - to a broad range of societal challenges and opportunities.

CT capitalizes on concepts, methods, technologies, and tools fundamental to the fields of computing, i.e. computer and information science and engineering. For example, computing concepts and methods equip us to reason at multiple levels of abstraction simultaneously, to think algorithmically and apply foundational mathematical concepts to solve complex problems, and to understand the dimensions and consequences of scale.  However, it is only when computing concepts and methods are combined with the power of automation afforded by contemporary computing technologies and tools that the full potential of CT is unleashed.  Drawing deeply on computational concepts, methods, technologies and tools, CT serves as a powerful strategy to more effectively design, understand and solve problems associated with complex systems in many aspects of modern life. 

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.

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. 

Successful CPATH proposals will include administrators, researchers, educators and students in institutions of higher education.  Further, the engagement of stakeholders in other types of organizations including, but not limited to, K-12 schools and school districts, industry, and professional societies is also encouraged.  Every CPATH proposal must demonstrate the engagement of faculty with expertise in the core computer and information science and engineering (CISE) disciplines. 

The CPATH program seeks proposals in two size classes: Class I projects with project budgets totaling no more than $300,000 for 1-, 2- or 3-year durations; and, Class II projects with project budgets totaling no more than $800,000 each for 2- or 3-year durations.

Program contacts

Harriet Taylor
Program Director, Division of Computer and Network Systems
htaylor@nsf.gov (703) 292-8950
Sylvia Spengler
Program Director, Division of Information and Intelligent Systems
sspengle@nsf.gov (703) 292-8930 CISE/IIS
Joan Peckham
Program Director
jpeckham@nsf.gov (703) 292-8950
Dmitry Maslov
Program Director
dmaslov@nsf.gov (703) 292-8910

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