Another step in closing the digital divide
Snap Inc., developer of Snapchat, announced today a $5 million gift to California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) for the creation and endowment of a new institute focused on addressing equity gaps in computing education. The gift comprises the largest single donation ever given to the CSUDH campus.
Housed in the CSUDH College of Education, the new institute will serve as a leader in computing education research, teacher preparation, and curriculum development centered around equity and access, particularly for students with special needs and for bilingual, multilingual, and dual language learners. Additionally, through strong partnerships with Los Angeles area school districts, the institute will work to make high-quality computer science education an integral part of the experience of all K-12 students.
“The legacy that Snap Inc. is helping to build will positively impact the South Bay and California as a whole, and reverberate through generations of computer science teachers and learners,” CSUDH President Thomas A. Parham said. “Integrating computer science education into the curriculum of K-12 schools in underserved communities is an important step in closing the digital divide that leaves many would-be scholars on the outside looking in.
“With Snap Inc.’s help, CSUDH will smash that digital divide and create technology-savvy, academically engaged leaders throughout Southern California.”
Snap Inc.’s gift was made in conjunction with the launch of the Action to Catalyze Tech Report, created by the Catalyze Tech coalition. One of the report’s key recommendations is to transform future pathways into tech for underrepresented talent, and to solve the acute lack of computer science teachers in part by funding endowed centers of excellence for computer science teaching in colleges.
As part of the launch of the report, and ahead of the first-ever virtual DEI Innovation Summit, the Catalyze Tech coalition announced that $20 million in new funding is being pledged to four teaching colleges. In addition to CSUDH, Georgia State University will receive $5 million from Snap Inc. The University of Florida and University of Texas at El Paso will also each receive $5 million from philanthropist Ken Griffin, Founder and CEO of Citadel Capital, and Hopper Dean Foundation, respectively.
“We’re so excited to begin the work. We’re going to incorporate computer science knowledge and theories into course material, working with teachers in Los Angeles Unified School District, Inglewood, Lynwood, and other local districts to support them as they learn to integrate computer science into their everyday teaching,” said Dean of the CSUDH College of Education Jessica Pandya. “We are also going to start a variety of activities for school-aged students, from coding nights to coding summer camps, with an explicit focus on issues of access and equity.”