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Increasing Minority Participation in Academic Computer Training! A National Science Foundation Broadening Participation in Computing Alliance Grant.

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Presentation on theme: "Increasing Minority Participation in Academic Computer Training! A National Science Foundation Broadening Participation in Computing Alliance Grant."— Presentation transcript:

1 Increasing Minority Participation in Academic Computer Training! A National Science Foundation Broadening Participation in Computing Alliance Grant

2 The Alliance Southeastern Oklahoma State University Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Participating High Schools

3 Southeastern Oklahoma State University SOSU first opened its doors in 1909, and is the only accredited four-year institution of higher learning in the targeted area.

4 Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma With over 170,000 members, the Choctaw Nation is the third largest federally- recognized Tribe in the United States.

5 Target Area in Southeastern Oklahoma Over 11,000 square miles Larger than the State of Vermont Rugged, extremely rural hills and valleys in southeastern Oklahoma

6 Tremendous Challenges: Poverty is overwhelming. Source: Oklahoma KIDS COUNT Factbook.

7 Youth Indicators Map Living in Poverty, Disconnected Youth, Births to Older Teens, In Foster Care During Month, Drug and Alcohol Arrests, Violent and Accidental Deaths Source: Averages of data from , Oklahoma Kids Count Factbook 2004

8 Project IMPACT will help some overcome these barriers…. The minority students to be served are from highly impoverished communities with little opportunity to experience the computing sciences (computer science, information systems, and information technology). Communities in the area are small, sparse, and exceptionally rural according to the 2000 Census data records. People who live in them are isolated – isolated from each other and modern advantages.

9 Begin at need level… The project was designed to take these challenged students from their beginning need level and provide the necessary education and support to help them pursue a degree in computer sciences.

10 Project IMPACTs comprehensive strategy is designed to assist these students: Development and implementation of outreach programs to create positive engagement of students at the high school level, Development of a bridge program to increase the preparedness of students making the critical transition in the academic pipeline from high school to college, Support for students to participate in computing educational opportunities and to maximize the benefits they gain from their participation,

11 Strategy continued… Development of a mentoring program led by a highly-qualified Choctaw female professor, Development of innovative, researched methods for computing disciplines career counseling, and Development of student encouragement, outreach materials, and networks.

12 Project IMPACT! Staff Betty Clay – Coordinator Dr. Pam Fahrendorf – Choctaw Mentor Lesa Sanders – Project Assistant Dr. Chip Weiner – Guidance Counselor Evaluators: Judy McDaniel and Dr. Zoe Leimgruebler

13 2006 Participating High Schools Colbert Durant Hugo McAlester Talihina

14 Instruction The course is being taught in a hybrid manner, using both face-to-face and online instruction, which is critical due to the large distances between the high schools and SOSU. The face-to-face piece is being taught by district teachers selected for their experience and interest who have been trained by SOSU staff. The online instruction is being conducted by SOSU computer science adjunct faculty.

15 Faculty On-site faculty at each high school SOSU adjunct faculty – Ellen Hendrix – Mark Ross

16 Orientation Free to the participating students, the course began with onsite orientations for students, their parents, and high school staff. Here, Joy Culbreath, Executive Director of Education at the Choctaw Nation leads a discussion with project instructions on the cultural and instructional aspects often involved when working with Choctaw students.

17 School Participation As an added incentive, each participating high school was given 10 computers to establish the Project LEARN! learning lab to allow students access to the modern technology required for the online course. Here, Lori Hicks works with staff to install the computers at Hugo High School.

18 Students Served In Year One, the project is serving 45 students at five high schools. Next year, the project will expand to serve three other schools. Additionally, the project has worked diligently to save enough money so that students at the 8 participating high schools will be served for a third year. That means a total of 205 students will benefit from the full range of serves provided by Project IMPACT!

19 Requirements for Students to Participate Identified as Native American (1 preference point if Native American and 1 additional preference point if Choctaw) Grade point average of 2.0 or higher (1 preference point for a GPA of 3.0 or higher) High attendance rates Evidence of interest in math, science or computing Recommendation by the high school staff Junior or Senior (1 preference point for being a Senior) Concurrent Student requirements set by SOSU which includes a 19 on the ACT in Reading

20 Goal Project IMPACT incorporates research- recommended practices aimed at taking minority students from their real-life base (with little or no access to computers) through a two-semester concurrent educational program at SOSU designed to assist them to achieve computer fluency and comprehend fundamental concepts of the computing sciences.

21 Goal continued… The project will provide students with experiences designed to motivate their pursuit of college degrees and careers in the computing sciences.

22 Goal continued… The project will reward those qualifying individuals who choose to pursue a computing degree with a scholarship provided by the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

23 Currently… Students have been participating in the instruction that will lead to their mastery of skills and Microsoft Office Software certification. Thus, participating students will get a marketable skill along with strong grounding in basic computer science concepts, instruction on career opportunities, training in academic skills, and mentoring.

24 Choctaw Mentor: Pam Fahrendorf Past Chair of the SOSU Computer Science Department Pam has worked to become a7 Habits of Effective Teens trainer and has been leading the students in developing the necessary skills to succeed in their academic lives – a key for these students who often come from poverty- stricken families for whom advanced education is seldom a priority. Many of these students will be the first generation in their family to attend college. In addition, she has been communicating regularly with students via onsite visits, , and monthly newsletters to encourage their participation in the project.

25 Benefits to the Student Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Master Certification Test for Word, Excel and PowerPoint College credit for each semester (6 hours) $2,000 scholarship offered by the Choctaw nation to those who qualify

26 Benefits to NSF and Knowledge Base Through implementation of Project IMPACT!, we will learn how to more effectively inspire highly challenged, minority students to reach beyond their limited experiences and achieve success in the field of computer sciences – success for each individual and success for our society.

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