How to Recruit More Students and More Diverse

Report
How to Recruit More Students and
More Diverse Students for your
Computing Class?
Barb Ericson
Director, Computing Outreach
College of Computing
Georgia Tech
Today's story
 The percentage of females and Blacks taking the AP CS A exam in
Georgia is way too low
 Below historical highs in Georgia
 Below what we see in other AP exams in Georgia
 There are way too few students who take AP CS A compared to
other similar AP exams
 Hundreds versus thousands in Georgia
 There are not enough females and under-represented minorities in
computing at Georgia Tech
 What can you do to effectively recruit more students and more
diverse students to computing?
 You can make a difference!
2010 AP CS A in Georgia - Gender
 The percentage of females
taking AP CS A in Georgia
was 17% (118 out of 692)
Number of Females taking
AP CS A
 The high was 27% in 1999
200
(155 of 571)
 The low was 14% in 2005
(56 of 388)
 19.21% nationally (3,726
of 19,390)
150
Number of
Females
taking AP
CS A
100
50
0
1999 2005 2010
2010 AP CS A in Georgia - Race
 The percentage of blacks
Number of Blacks
taking AP CS A
was 9.8% (68 of 692)
 The high was 28.5% in
1999 (163 of 571)
 The low was 9.4% in 2007
(40 of 422)
 4.25% nationally (825 of
19,390)
200
150
100
50
0
Number of
Blacks
taking AP
CS A
1999 2007 2010
Compared to other Georgia AP exams?
 2010 Calculus AB – total 7,256
 % female 49.9% (3,621)
 % black 16.35% (1187)
 2010 Biology – total 5,358
 % female 56.8% (3,045)
 % black 17.59% (943)
 2010 Chemistry – total 3,683
 % female 48.4% (1,785)
 % black 14.79% (545)
 2010 Statistics – total 5,115
 % female 52.7% (2,696)
 % black 17% (873)
Statistics
Chemistry
Num Blacks
Biology
Num
Females
Total
Calculus AB
Computer
Science A
0
10000
Georgia Tech – Spring 2011 by Gender
 Ranges from 9.27% to 22.73%
 Freshman (95 male and 23 female) 19.49% female
 Sophomore (169 male and 34 female) 16.74% female
 Junior (225 and 23) 9.27% female
 Senior (300 and 43) 12.53% female
 Masters (282 and 83) 22.73% female
 PhD (252 and 57) 18.44% female
 Back in the mid 80's women were about 35% of CS majors
Georgia Tech – Spring 2011 by Race
 Undergrad in the College of Computing





Total - 912
Asian – 214 – 23.46%
Black – 61 – 6.68%
Hispanic – 48 – 5.26%
White – 559 – 61.29%
 Graduate





Total – 681
Asian – 391 – 57.41%
Black – 25 – 3.67%
Hispanic – 14 – 2.05%
White – 232 – 34.06%
Interest in Computing Careers
 According to a WGBH foundation study of over 1400 college-
bound teens in 2008
 74% of college bound males consider a career in computing to be a
"very good" or "good" choice for them.
 32% of college bound females consider a career in computing to be a
"very good" or "good" choice for them.
 Black and Hispanic teen boys were even more interested in a career in
computing than their white peers.
 So, why aren't there more Black and Hispanic males in computing?
 Lack of access and exposure?
 Many are going to low-level schools such as DeVry and Un. Of
Phoenix
What do middle school girls want to
be?
 Vet / work with animals (> 400) 25%
 Doctor (> 400) 19%
 Don't know (> 400) 19%
 Engineer (> 200) 10%
 Performance Artist (> 200)
 Teacher - 9%
 Lawyer – judge - 9%
 Forensics-related
 Scientist
 …
 Computer-related was near the bottom of the list (41)
What do high school girls want to be?
 Health and allied services - 34%
 Social science and history – 13%
 Business and commerce – 12%
 Education – 11%
 Arts –Visual and performing – 9%
 Biological Sciences – 7%
 Communications – 5%
 …
 Computer or Information Sciences was near bottom.
How to recruit students to computing?
 Send letters to parents of high school students who do well
on the PSAT
 See http://home.cc.gatech.edu/ice-gt/50 for sample letters
 Hand deliver letters to females and under-represented
minorities
 Include a talking points card from NCWIT for females
 See http://www.ncwit.org/resources.res.talking.young.html
 Recruit student leaders and have them recruit their friends
 Females often prefer to take a class with a friend
Other recruiting ideas
 Send out your current computing students to recruit for next
year
 Give a talk in other AP classes (especially math and science)
 Give a talk in web design classes (high percentage of women)
 Create a short video that can be played on the school news
 Have an open house at your school for parents
 Display job ads
 Show student work
 Hand out information on computing careers
 http://www.computinginthecore.org/impacts/#jobs
 http://computingcareers.acm.org/?page_id=58
What appealed to current majors?
 Both men and women
 More important for
 Positive experiences in
women
computing
 Encouragement
 Confidence in math and
science
 Enjoy programming
 Belief that career could be
rewarding and flexible
 Computing as a form of
communication
 Leads to helping others
 Means of self-expression
 Persuaded by friends
 Defy stereotypes
 Encouragement from
family
What does research tell us?
 80% of college freshman don't know what a person with a
major in computer science does
 Many hold negative stereotypes about computing
 Boring, anti-social, not creative, too hard
 White and Hispanic women's confidence is based on others
 They need encouragement and praise
 Women who leave Computer Science often have higher grades
then men who stay in the major
 Males are often taught to be self-reliant
 Not willing to ask questions or show that they are having
trouble
What is important to mention?
 Economic Security
 Job Satisfaction
 Flexibility both in types of
 Socially relevant
industries and geographic
 Jobs in computing and
math are expected to be
some of the fastest growing
through 2016
 First or second highest
starting salary of any 4 year
degrees
 Challenging and problem
solving
 Work with others
 Time for personal life
 In Georgia AP CS A counts
as a science for graduation
 And as a science or math
for entry into Georgia
colleges and universities
What does Georgia Tech do?
 Weekend events with Girl
Scouts and Cool Girls
 Summer camps for 4th –
12th graders at Georgia
Tech
 And we trained and gave
"seed" money to 11 other
colleges and universities in
Georgia
 Weekend events for
elementary students
 Competitions
 Alice
 Scratch
 AP Bowl
 Cool Computing Days
 Student panel
 Research talks
 Corporate panel
 Lending library
 Teacher workshops
Pictures from Georgia Tech
Pictures from Georgia Tech
 Media Computation for high school students
Awards for females
 NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Awards
 http://www.ncwit.org/work.awards.aspiration.html
 National Award
 $500 in cash
 a laptop computer, provided by Bank of America
 a trip to attend the Bank of America Technology Showcase and Awards
Ceremony in Charlotte, North Carolina
 an engraved award for both the student and the student's school
 Georgia Aspirations in Computing Awards – 15 in 2011
 http://www.cc.gatech.edu/events/ncwit-aspiration-awards-
ceremony
Videos
 You can use videos from the Un of Washington
http://www.cs.washington.edu/WhyCSE/
 Pathways in computer science
 Power to change the world
 A day in the life – 3 women in computing
 Dot diva videos – for females on combining computing and
other fields
http://www.dotdiva.org/
 NCWIT – Aspirations in Computing Award Winners
 http://www.ncwit.org/resources.multimedia.html
Use Engaging Contexts
 Scratch – 2D animations, simulations, presentations, games
 Alice – 3D animations and games
 Media Computation – communication, creative, expressive
 Culturally relevant
 http://csdt.rpi.edu/african/African_Fractals/index.html
 http://csdt.rpi.edu/african/cornrow_curves/
 Mobile Devices – computing for good, social networks
 Apps for homeless
 Apps to report sexual harassment
 Apps to handle logistics in earthquakes
Make computing social
 Have students share their results
 In class
 On a website
 In student newspaper
 Use pair programming
 Research has shown this to be effective
 Encourage group work
 Counter the myth that programmers work alone
 Use peer and near-peer mentors
 High school students helping middle school students
 College students helping high school students
Books to read for more info
 Unlocking the Clubhouse:
Women in Computing
 Stuck in the Shallow End:
Education, Race, and
Computing
New CS Principles Course
This is a new Advanced Placement course designed to be an
introduction to the important ideas in computer science and
to appeal to more women and minorities
 See http://csprinciples.org/
 Piloted 2010-2011 by 5 colleges
 http://csprinciples.org/pilots.php
 NSF wants 10,000 teachers teaching this course by 2015
 NSF wants a higher percentage of women and minorities
 They are currently recruiting for the second pilot courses
 http://csprinciples.org/pilots/
Summary
 There are too few women and under-represented minorities in
computing
 Doing "nothing" only perpetuates the problem
 And can lead to your classes being cancelled
 Continues the economic injustice
 You need to act to give more females and under-represented
minorities an introduction to computing




Recruit for your classes
Be sure to use appropriate messages when recruiting
Be sure to use engaging and inclusive content in your classes
Hold summer camps
 http://coweb.cc.gatech.edu/ice-gt/1080
 Create an afterschool club
 Encourage students to enter competitions and apply for awards

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