About the Center for Excellence in Computer Science Education

The Center for Excellence in Computer Science Education works to inspire, connect, and grow an equitable computer science and coding ecosystem in Chicago. At the core of the Center’s mission is equity. We provide intermediate and advanced level Computer Science and coding opportunities, curriculum, and best practices to support continued educator and youth engagement in computer science throughout all communities in Chicago. Our team at Northwestern firmly believe it takes the collective to make sustained impact and changes. Our work and priorities are in partnership with Truman College of City Colleges Chicago and the Office of Computer Science at Chicago Public Schools. 

At the Core of Our Work...

We work with Chicago's educators, youth, practicitioners and non-profits to increase youth opportunity and engagement in the CS pathway

We look for creative and sustainable approaches to enhance our work and challenge assumptions in the pursuit of our vision and mission

Research and Data
Our strategies are data driven to inform our work in increasing the knowledge of, access to, and learning in CS and Coding

Chicago's CS and Coding Landscape

Building upon our team's work, led by Dr. Nichole Pinkard and Dr. Sybil Madison, to map Chicago's Informal CS Learnning Landscape, we are driven to further highlight the programatic opportunities, developmental skills, city and community infrastructures to cultivate a sustained and enriched CS pathway for youth and adult learners. What we learn about opportunities and participation will also further efforts to connect learning across school and community spaces. 

If we are to engage youth and adults in CS and coding--whether as an interest, hobby, or career--that effort must begin to connect informal and formal learning spaces in ways that enable people to deepen their interests and talents. Chicago has resources to help youth connect their interests and passions to the learning in their classes. As we work together– schools, community organizations, community stakeholders, parents, and youth–we will learn more of how to increase equitable access and engagement in CS and coding throughout the city. 

2.1 million

Research by the Progressive Policy Institute estimates the App Store ecosystem now supports more than 2.1 million US jobs across all 50 states — an increase of 15 percent since last year


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $88,240


The Center for Excellence in Computer Science Education (CECSEducation) is powered by the Office of Community Education Partnerships in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. In partnership with the Office of Computer Science at Chicago Public Schools, our team works to eliminate the opportunity gap for youth and educators in CS and coding. Our collaborations and coordination with educators, practicitioners, school administration, and community based organizations are driven to ensure equity and quality in curriculum, resources, and supports to further cultivate Chicago's CS and coding pathway for youth.

Founding Partners