Applications are now open for the upcoming Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC) Plan Workshop, hosted by BPCnet.org in Atlanta, GA from May 30th- June 1st, 2023. We highly encourage departments to send 2-3 participants.
Computing Research News
Applications are now open for the upcoming Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC) Plan Workshop, hosted by BPCnet.org in Denver, CO from August 3-5, 2022. In this workshop, departments will have the opportunity to learn more about BPC efforts from the National Science Foundation (NSF), how to create a Departmental BPC Plan, and how to best support faculty PIs submitting NSF proposals that require a BPC Plan. Consultants from BPCnet.org will be available to answer questions and provide real-time feedback about your departments’ BPC Plan during the workshop.
Please check out the workshop website for more information about the workshop.
Imagine you walk into Japanese 101 and on the first day the professor asks, “Has anyone taken Japanese before?” and everyone raises their hand but you and a handful of other students. Imagine then that your classmates not only raise their hands but respond to the professor in Japanese! At age 18, I would have been intimidated and likely would have dropped the class. This is how many of our students feel in the first course for computing majors – overwhelmed by the sense that they are already behind when in theory they have only just begun.
The trouble is that prior experience in CS is not uniformly distributed across all genders, races and ethnicities, and further CS is only offered in approximately half of U.S. high schools (with more of those high schools in regions of economic privilege). Thus, the individuals experiencing the first course required for a computing major (CS1) in this way are more likely to be from less privileged geographies and from genders and races/ethnicities historically marginalized in tech.
It is imperative that computing departments address the distribution of prior experience in coding, but how they respond will depend on the context of the department and the university. In this article, we outline five of the more popular approaches, illustrating the contexts in which they work best, and possible pitfalls.
Using data from the new Policies and Data Practices Survey, this analysis looks at the actions higher education institutions took to address increasing enrollments. Academic units in private institutions were significantly less likely to tighten their admission/enrollment requirements and to advise less successful students to consider other majors compared to those in public institutions.
Efforts to increase participation from minoritized communities has been going on in earnest for over a decade. Unfortunately, we have yet to expand the group of faculty and staff engaged in these activities and have only made a marginal difference in who is studying computing. This article discusses BPC Plans as an attempt to supplement and scale-up the computing community’s efforts to address the issue of lack of diversity in computing.
In support of the NSF CISE initiative to Broaden Participation in Computing (BPC) and BPCnet.org, CERP has created a web app to facilitate access to statistics helpful to the CRA community. This web app can be used to quickly generate statistics for use in NSF proposals, particularly those that require BPC Plans.
The annual CRA Data Buddies Survey will open October 2019. If your department is not yet a member, sign up here to learn more about your students and how your department compares to other similar departments.