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Work in Progress: Leveraging a Virtual Precollege Summer Coding Day Camp to Promote DEI in Recruiting Students to Computer Science and Information Technology

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Computing and Information Technology Division Technical Session 6

Tagged Division

Computing and Information Technology

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Bonnie Achee Southeastern Louisiana University

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In addition to her primary roles of undergraduate coordinator and instructor for the Department of Computer Science at Southeastern Louisiana, Dr. Achee also serves as faculty advisor for the student chapter of ACM-W, Women in Computing. She founded the Lion's Code Coding Camp to provide a summer program for pre-college students and recruit students to the discipline and university. Her research focus is computer science education.

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As part of an ongoing initiative to recruit students to the Computer Science and Information Technology degree programs at XXX University, a summer coding day camp was formed beginning in the summer of 2019 through a grant with XXX. The 2019 camp was a two-week on-campus experience. In the success of the first year, expansion, to include a satellite campus, was planned for year two. This was never realized due to COVID-19. The summer 2020 delivery and curriculum was redesigned two short months before delivery. The decision was made to offer a much abbreviated online version of the camp, while maintaining the maximum capacity. Through a partnership with XXX, curriculum was selected and a virtual capture-the-flag was offered. The capture-the-flag competition served to promote participation in the recruitment activities. Through the use of pre and post tests, data was collected as to familiarity with the university, the Department of Computer Science degree offerings, job opportunities in the field, and intention to attend college. Additionally, student surveys were administered to collect demographic information. This paper details the experience of offering a virtual summer coding camp and explores both the challenges and opportunities that were encountered. Details into the specifics of how the camp was administered and recruiting activities are presented as are the results of the survey and test findings. It is concluded that the experience was a success, reaching maximum enrollment within 48 hours and achieving a wait-list of over 80. Of the students enrolled in the camp, women and minorities represented a significant population and the vast majority of the students reported that their expectations were met or exceeded.

Achee, B. (2021, July), Work in Progress: Leveraging a Virtual Precollege Summer Coding Day Camp to Promote DEI in Recruiting Students to Computer Science and Information Technology Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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