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Attract More and Diverse Students to Your CS Courses Joanne Cohoon, UVA & NCWIT June 25, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Attract More and Diverse Students to Your CS Courses Joanne Cohoon, UVA & NCWIT June 25, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Attract More and Diverse Students to Your CS Courses Joanne Cohoon, UVA & NCWIT June 25, 2013

2 The Big Picture What’s the problem? »Stereotype threat What you can do »Actively recruit Minimize stereotype threat Use messages that attract females »Resources

3 BLS Projected 2020 Occupational employment for jobs requiring college degree only CS

4 30% of jobs for college grads will be in computing

5 There is not enough low hanging fruit We need to branch out

6 Recruit from the majority

7 Stand up if your class is ≥40% girls



10 Common Stereotype: Feminine ≠ Technical Lagesen 2005

11 Fear of confirming negative beliefs about my group …  Hinders performance  Affects choices and aspirations  Leads to harsh personal standards, opting out if not met Stereotypes can feel threatening Correll 2004; Chasteen et al. 2005

12 Stereotype Threat: Easy to Trigger; Affects Motivated Students Some triggers Gender imbalance in room Stereotyped physical space Attention called to gender

13 Stereotype Threat Masks Ability Remove threat and women test better  Advanced calculus course with 100 male, 57 female students  No gender difference in course grades  Significant difference in test performance without threat Good, Aronson, Harder, 2008

14 Stereotype Threat Reduces Learning and Persistence  Note-taking skill reduced by stereotype threat  Feelings of belonging impaired Appel et al. 2011; Good et al. 2012

15  Don’t speak up in groups or classes  Reluctant to take leadership roles  Discount their performance Stereotype Threat has subtle negative effects too



18 Avoid triggering stereotype threat Gender balance in room Create a welcoming physical space Do not call attention to gender

19 Capitalize on how we choose our occupations Interest Confidence Belonging Identity

20 Ignite your students’ interest

21 Showcase projects tied to current & future interests

22 Link to girls’ existing interests & ambitions »Robots saving lives, cute Take every opportunity to recruit »Joint projects Photos on posters »People rather than things Exhibits, Posters, Guest Speakers

23 Describe careers that spark women’s interest Flexibility: industry, geography Socially relevant Work with others Time with family Job projections High salaries Satisfied professionals

24 Computing offers exciting work that affects our world and the people in it Create technology for Tracking endangered dolphins Mobile forensics labs for instant analysis at crime scenes GPS systems that guide blind people Scanning DNA for childhood diseases Designing and displaying new fashions Restoring and preserving art work Source:

25 Computer Scientists give back to their communities Technology for human rights Design secure databases to record human rights abuses while shielding the identities of victims or witnesses Create tools that help ordinary people collect extraordinary amounts of money for important causes

26 1.Software Engineer 2.Mathematician 3.Actuary 4.Statistician 5.Computer Systems Analyst According to CareerCast Best Jobs in America 2011

27 Computer Scientists work in every industry 27 Source:

28 Computing occupations are well paid Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

29 Build confidence Showcase successes of current & former students “You’d be great at this” Provide opportunities for experiencing success Describe how the course promotes success

30 Emphasize Growth in Intelligence The effort to master difficult material actually increases intellectual ability See Carol Dweck’s work

31 Don’t mistake confidence for ability

32 Promote belonging, inclusivity Recruit in groups Have friends recruit friends Use inclusive language Set-up a welcoming physical environment Tell them you want them to study computing

33 Describe opportunities for Community service Conference attendance Poster presentation Outreach projects (Really, developing the identity of a computing expert)

34 Remember Cultivate students’ I nterest C onfidence B elonging I dentity

35 Avoid mythbusting, geeks, cubicles, code monkeys, … May actually create stereotypes Once implanted, difficult to dislodge See “How Warnings about False Claims Become Recommendations” “I’ve heard that before so it must be true”


37 NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing

38 Advisors can deliver the message Provide them with up-to-date information


40 Seth’s Story Excellent teacher in a failing high school 12% girls in AP CS Actively recruited Yearbook and Student Government Explained and demonstrated the value of CS Assured students they would succeed 33% girls in AP CS + highest enrollment ever New school – even greater success (39% in AP CS) Moral – Active recruiting works


42 1 st Year at Lake Brantley about 60 AP Computer Science students 2009-2010 AP Computer Science

43 Lake Brantley High School 2011 - 2012 144 students in AP Computer Science 45 % female.5 % mascot

44 2012-2013 at Lake Brantley HS OVER 300 AP Computer Science Students 40% female

45 Time Out for Brainstorming Generate three ideas for how you will actively recruit female students to your computing class

46 NCWIT is the National Center for Women & Information Technology Our coalition includes more than 250 universities, corporations, and non-profits. Mobilizing for Change: NCWIT

47 Free Resources to Help You Inform Others Statistics about computing education and workforce in your area

48 Finally Track and report your outcomes

49 Questions or comments?

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