New Orleans, Louisiana
February 20, 2022
February 20, 2022
July 20, 2022
Diversity and CoNECD Paper Sessions
In computer science (CS), institutions are failing to produce enough PhDs to fulfill available faculty positions. In part, this may be due to the fact that PhD programs in computing have higher rates of attrition than other STEM fields. In addition, women, persons with disabilities, and individuals from racial and ethnic minority groups are significantly underrepresented in CS, exacerbating the challenge of producing enough computing doctorates to fill faculty positions. Previous research shows that one key factor affecting the rate of degree completion among doctoral students is a clear understanding of what is expected of them in order to complete the program. This paper seeks to investigate perspectives of students from underrepresented groups in order to understand how they form expectations and how they fulfill them. We report findings from a qualitative analysis of 14 one-on-one interviews with doctoral computing students from underrepresented groups. We find that students have three primary sources from which they form expectations: prior research experience, their PhD advisor, and their peers in the program. Our analysis shows that prior experience did not fully prepare them for research in graduate school, and our participants indicated receiving high-level guidance from advisors, supplemented by lower-level help from peers. In order to better support all doctoral students, we provide two key insights. First, we recommend the creation of a lab-based mentorship system to provide students with support. Second, we find that successful communication requires clarity both on the goals students need to achieve and the steps needed to achieve them.
Ojha, V., & Platero, R. E., & Bullock, B. B. (2022, February), Forming and Fulfilling Expectations: Perspectives of Underrepresented Computer Science Doctoral Students Paper presented at 2022 CoNECD (Collaborative Network for Engineering & Computing Diversity) , New Orleans, Louisiana. https://peer.asee.org/39119
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2022 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015