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The EIR Project

Computer science empowers students to create the world of tomorrow.

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft


"Extending the Computer Science Pipeline," is a 5-year research grant from the United States Department of Education funded through the Office of Elementary & Secondary Education's Education Innovation and Research program. The Rutgers University Center for Effective School Practices will work alongside over 30 middle schools in New Jersey to work towards authentic, rigorous, and engaging computer science education programs. Through these school partnerships, CESP will collaboratively refine and implement a comprehensive Technical Assistance Framework that can be replicated and scaled in for other subject areas and in other settings that both creates a blueprint for school partnerships and supports and works to broaden participation of underserved student populations. The Center will also work alongside an evaluation team to assess the project's usefulness and efficacy to key educational stakeholders. 

To reach this ambitious goal, the EIR project works to increase access to and engagement with rigorous and relevant computer science education while motivating CS-related interest, self-efficacy, and achievement. Prior research has indicated that rigor, the quality of instructional content, is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for broadening participation in CSE. Relevance is also critical - instruction must be implemented in a way that is relevant to students, sparking interest and continued engagement.

Throughout the project period, the EIR project will work directly with middle school teachers and administrators to provide and refine comprehensive, systematic, and purposeful CSE Technical Assistance, inclusive of a library of procedures, tools, and research-based strategies, professional learning addressing both content and pedagogical knowledge, and direct collaboration with school teams to audit and refine institutional policies and school culture surrounding computer science.

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The Center for Effective School Practices

The Center for Effective School Practices (CESP) is an equity-focused unit of the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University dedicated to excellence and integrity in research and evaluation. Rutgers CESP regularly engages in and mediates collaborations among public and private school districts in the tri-state area, institutions of higher education, local, state, and federal government agencies, community organizations, and industry partners to generate and implement practitioner-relevant best-practices in education.


CESP is strongly committed to connecting a broad range of education stakeholders with the best available research evidence to inform sound education policy and practice decisions needed to support the delivery of quality education to all students while closing persistent achievement gaps. To this end, CESP supports active collaborative structures such as professional learning communities and researcher-practitioner partnerships, in addition to translating and disseminating evidence-based guidelines and delivering professional development opportunities. CESP is supported by a robust team of experienced researchers and evaluators with a strong commitment to building the capacity of educators and policymakers to develop and deliver high-quality evidence-based instruction, curriculum, programs, and policy initiatives with significant potential to improve learning for all students while directly addressing existing inequities and systemic bias in education.


Funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, and State and Federal Departments of Education, CESP develops and executes innovative and impactful projects on educational initiatives in addition to serving as internal and external evaluators on large-scale research projects. A current focus of CESP’s work is on scalable mechanisms for improving equity and access to robust computer science education across the K-12 continuum. We work to build the capacity of educators through sustained, inquiry-driven computer science professional learning at the high school level and are implementing and assessing a technical assistance framework for the middle school level, as well as exploring the added-benefit of teacher participation in the research-practice partnership collaborative structure. We are also working as evaluators on a number of pre- and post-doctoral training initiatives and working as research partners on an exploration of the use of research-evidence in policy ecosystems.

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