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The Firelighters: Understanding the Demand for Instructional Computer Science Faculty

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session


Tagged Division

Computing & Information Technology

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Paper Authors


Joshua B. Gross Blackburn College Orcid 16x16

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Joshua B. Gross is a professor of computer science at Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois. His research focuses on pedagogical problems in computing, as well as employment issues in the IT industry.

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Instructional faculty (those whose primary responsibility is teaching undergraduates) in computing are not well-studied, and the differences in employment conditions, education, and responsibilities of those in these roles within and between institutions are ill-understood. The capacity crisis has caused demand to exceed supply of the limited number of qualified people who want this role, so a better understanding is crucial to managing the crisis. This paper attempts to quantify and qualify the demand for instructional faculty using published and new data, and describes employment conditions for these faculty via a survey of hiring institutions in the 2015-2016 academic year (with attention to demographics and diversity). The paper concludes with an analysis of the nature of the employment gap and proposes future research to better understand these faculty and their roles in defining the future of the field.

Gross, J. B. (2017, June), The Firelighters: Understanding the Demand for Instructional Computer Science Faculty Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28969

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