The four grants will help UC Berkeley and other institutions expand access to data science education. (Photo/ Yan Krukau, Pexels)

UC Berkeley’s Division of Computing, Data Science, and Society will receive four grants to increase access to and awareness of data science, a California state initiative announced today.

The California Education Learning Lab grants will fund CDSS and partner institution efforts to expand data science curriculum and pipelines at state community colleges and UC Merced. CDSS will also be the lab’s cohort coordinator for other academic data science grant recipients.

“This is an influential foundation at the state level investing in areas we’ve already been working in,” said Eric Van Dusen, outreach and tech lead for the Data Science Undergraduate Studies program, which is housed within the CDSS. “We’ve had successful pilots with a few partners, and these resources offer us a chance to make a much deeper impact in California.”

The Learning Lab grants build upon the division’s existing body of work on campus and partnerships with others aimed at diversifying the field of data science. These efforts also increase non-traditional students’ opportunities to prepare for and succeed in a highly paid, highly desired occupation.

California Education Learning Lab is a joint initiative by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and the Foundation for California Community Colleges. It aims to improve learning outcomes and equity within California public higher education segments, especially those related to STEM.

CDSS’ grant partners across the four grants include UC Merced, Berkeley City College, City College of San Francisco, Laney City College and El Camino College. Berkeley is leading two of the grants and is supporting UC Merced and El Camino College, respectively, in the two others.