CCI to use NSF Grant to Transform Undergraduate Education

Monday, July 27, 2015

CHARLOTTE - July 28, 2015 - The College of Computing and Informatics (CCI) has received a five-year, $2 million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation to fund  “The Connected Learner: Design Patterns for Transforming Computing and Informatics Education.”  This project is a reorientation of undergraduate computing and informatics education to focus on student learning that connects to peers, the profession and the community.

“The project vision is to transform the student entering an undergraduate computing and informatics program from a person with an interest in computing to a person with an identity as a computing professional,” said project principal investigator Mary Lou Maher, professor and chair of the Department of Software and Information Systems. “The project will transform faculty attitudes toward education, shifting their attitudes and behaviors away from knowledge transmission and lecturing toward a refreshed approach of developing educational activities that scaffold the computing knowledge and skills to build successful computing professionals.”

Maher stated key outcomes from the Connected Learner project are anticipated to be an increase in the quality of education provided to a diverse population of computing students, improved retention and graduation rates, the provision of a regional and national talent pool in computing and the integration of pedagogical research with faculty development and advancement. The project will disseminate educational design patterns, best practice examples and scholarly publications for educational change and faculty development through a publicly available online resource, as well as through journals, conferences, blogs and social network publications.

The NSF Directorates for Engineering, Computer and Information Science and Engineering, and Education and Human Services have awarded the grant in order to enact groundbreaking, scalable and sustainable changes in undergraduate education.

“The engineering and computer science professions have a large potential to address national priorities and societal grand challenges," said Pramod Khargonekar, NSF assistant director for engineering. "To flourish in the future, engineering and computer science must attract and retain people from all sectors of society."

Co-investigators on the project include Bojan Cukic, professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science; Jamie Payton, associate professor, Department of Computer Science; Celine Latulipe, associate professor, Department of Software and Information Systems; and Steven Rogelberg, professor, organizational science.

About UNC Charlotte

UNC Charlotte is North Carolina’s urban research university. With fall 2014 enrollment of 27,300 students, the University leverages its location in the state’s largest city to offer internationally competitive programs of research and creative activity, exemplary undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, and a focused set of community engagement initiatives.



College of Computing and Informatics contact:  Clark Curtis | 704-687-7983 |

UNC Charlotte media relations contact:  Buffie Stephens | 704-687-5830 | 980-355-3110 |