Asee peer logo

Increasing the Enrollment, Retention, and Graduation of Undergraduate Women Majoring in Computing

Download Paper |

Conference

2021 CoNECD

Location

Virtual - 1pm to 5pm Eastern Time Each Day

Publication Date

January 24, 2021

Start Date

January 24, 2021

End Date

January 28, 2021

Conference Session

CoNECD Session : Day 1 Slot 3 Technical Session 4

Tagged Topics

Diversity and CoNECD Paper Submissions

Page Count

14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/36100

Download Count

38

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Leisa D. Thompson University of Virginia

visit author page

Dr. Leisa Thompson is a Research Scientist in Science, Technology, and Society at the University of Virginia. She also works for the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) as the Director of Research and Consulting for the NCWIT Extension Services for Undergraduate Programs. Dr. Thompson conducts research on systemic reform that focus on recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in undergraduate computing and engineering programs. Dr. Thompson has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science and over 15 years of corporate experience in Engineering and Information Technology as an applications engineer, systems administrator, systems engineer, and senior consultant for companies such as Xerox, Hughes Electronics, and IBM Corporation. She has also presented at various regional, national, and international conferences.

visit author page

biography

Zhen Wu

visit author page

Dr. Zhen Wu is a research scientist with the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) at the University of Colorado Boulder. She conducts research and data analysis for several NCWIT programs, such as Aspirations in Computing Award program and Extension Services for Undergraduate Program. Her areas of research include gender, diversity, and the field of computing. Her recent research focuses on systemic reform for gender balance in undergraduate computing programs. Zhen Wu received her Ph.D. in Education from the University of Virginia

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

Increasing the Enrollment, Retention, and Graduation of Undergraduate Women Majoring in Computing

Keywords: Undergraduate, Computer Science, Gender, Women

Increasing the participation of women in undergraduate computing requires a multi-pronged, systemic approach that include strategic recruitment, inclusive pedagogy, meaningful curriculum, student support, high-level institutional support, and evaluation of initiatives. The Extension Services (ES) program at the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) employs this systemic approach for changing the way students experience computing majors and has yielding notable success; computing departments that participated in the ES program steadily increased the percentage of women declared majors from 11% in 2008 to 20% in 2017, ES clients steadily increased the retention rate of women declared computing majors from 79% in 2008 to 91% in 2017, and the percentage of degrees awarded to women steadily increased from 11% in 2008 to 20% in 2017. Moreover, ES clients continue to make progress over time. The greater the number of years since ES consultation and implementing our systemic change strategies, the greater the progress in women declared majors and graduates with bachelor’s degrees in computing. While the results in this paper focus on computing departments, the recruitment and retention recommendations are applicable to engineering and other STEM disciplines where women are severely underrepresented.

Thompson, L. D., & Wu, Z. (2021, January), Increasing the Enrollment, Retention, and Graduation of Undergraduate Women Majoring in Computing Paper presented at 2021 CoNECD, Virtual - 1pm to 5pm Eastern Time Each Day . https://peer.asee.org/36100

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: © 2021 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