The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) is committed to broadening the participation of underrepresented populations in computing and closely-related disciplines. Indeed, CISE supports meaningful actions that address the longstanding underrepresentation of various populations including women, minorities (African Americans/Blacks, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Native Pacific Islanders, and persons from economically disadvantaged backgrounds), and persons with disabilities, in the computing field.
With this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), CISE announces a pilot effort to enhance the community's awareness of and barriers to broadening participation in computing (BPC), as well as to provide information and resources to principal investigators (PIs) so that they can develop interest, skills, and activities in support of BPC at all levels (K-12, undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate). This effort builds on CISE's long history of support for BPC. For example, the BPC Alliances are national and regional collaborations of academic institutions, educators, professional societies, community organizations, and industrial partners that serve to create the best practices, educational resources, advocacy networks, and forums needed to broadly address issues of engagement and education across the K-20 academic pipeline. It also aligns with the recommendations of the CISE Advisory Committee contained in a Strategic Plan for Broadening Participation.