REU-in-A-Box: Expanding the Pool of Computing Researchers explains the benefits of undergraduate research in computing with content developed by experienced computing faculty mentors and undergraduate researchers. This resource focuses on the interactions of a faculty mentor with one or a few students and the processes by which they conduct and share the outcomes of their research. 

How Does the Physical Environment Affect Women's Entry and Persistence in Computing? Design Physical Space that Has Broad Appeal (Case Study 1)

The décor of physical spaces conveys messages about the kinds of people who belong there and the kinds of activities that should be done there. Understanding this influence allows us to actively craft an environment that makes a broad range of people feel welcome in computing. 

How Does Engaging Curriculum Attract Students to Computing? Harvey Mudd College's Successful Systemic Approach (Case Study 2)

Making curricula more relevant to students, introducing collaborative learning into the classroom, and tailoring courses to different student experience levels benefit female as well as male students. This case study focuses on the successful pre- and early-computing major redesign carried out at Harvey Mudd College. Student performance has held steady while skyrocketing women’s representation from consistently less than 20% all the way to 50% of the incoming computer science majors.

How Can REUs Help Retain Female Undergraduates? Faculty Perspectives (Case Study 1)

Undergraduates with positive research experiences feel more confident and motivated to enter graduate programs. To facilitate successful REUs, supportive faculty advisors or graduate mentors should clearly communicate goals to students and allow them to spend a large amount of time on research, increasing independence as the project progresses. Professors Scott McCrickard of Virginia Tech University and Margaret Burnett of Oregon State University treat their undergraduate researchers as members of their respective research teams.

How Do You Introduce Computing in an Engaging Way? Teaching Programming and Language Concepts Using LEGOs® (Case Study 4)

Engage students not already drawn to computing by creating academic and social environments where these students feel like they belong. Students respond positively to solving real-life problems that draw on their existing knowledge and interests and that involve collaboration in hands-on projects. In this easy-to-implement classroom activity, individual LEGOS® bricks are used to express a special-purpose programming language, allowing students to kinetically approach concepts and skills in computing in a non-intimidating fashion.

This paper presents a systemic change model of undergraduate computing for accomplishing gender parity. Rather than view women as needing to be modified or repaired to fit the system, this model advocates changing the system to fit the needs of a wider range of students. Changing the system is a more sustainable approach to creating gender parity than providing extra support to students with less experience or background or students who are less likely to feel that people like themselves belong in computing.

Roadshow-in-a-Box: Capitalizing on Models for Outreach

Roadshow-in-a-Box is a complete set of resources developed for colleges and universities wanting to establish or enhance their roadshow outreach programs. It draws on the wisdom and practices of a variety of successful roadshow programs that focus on recruiting for diversity and put trained student presenters in a leading role. The Box includes program advice, templates, and sample materials to aid your efforts in every aspect of a sustainable roadshow program. Components include: Controlled Message, Support, Ongoing School Partnerships, Trained Student Presenters, Program Activities, and Evaluation and Tracking.

Encouragement Practice - Case Study 3

Encouragement increases self-efficacy, which is the belief in one’s ability to successfully perform a task. Because we are more likely to engage in tasks that we believe we can perform successfully, encouragement may be especially useful for attracting women to male-stereotyped fields such as computing. The case study written by Gloria Townsend describes the impact she and her colleagues have had by making encouraging comments to women in their courses.

How Can Reducing Unconscious Bias Increase Women's Success in IT? Avoiding Unintended Bias in Letters of Recommendation (Case Study 1)

Research shows that even individuals committed to equality harbor unconscious biases that impact everyday decisions and interactions. In the IT workplace, unconscious gender bias can mislead employers, both male and female, to make inaccurate judgments in hiring, performance reviews, and promotion. This case study highlights findings on the differences between letters of recommendation for women and men and gives practical ways to reduce bias when writing letters of recommendation.

Stereotype Threat Cover Image

This Talking Point Card explains stereotype threat and how it is triggered, shares examples of effects from stereotype threat, and suggests ways to create a stereotype threat-free environment for attracting able and diverse students to computing.

How Do You Retain Women through Collaborative Learning? Peer-Led Team Learning (Case Study 2)

Collaborative learning can improve retention rates, critical thinking, appreciation of diversity, and development of social and professional skills. When implementing collaborative learning, match students roughly according to experience levels and make sure to give students opportunities to work together for both graded and un-graded assignments. Peer-led team learning in computer science allows students to work together with a classmate or more advanced peer directing group exercises and discussion. Courses that have utilized PLTL boast lower course drop rates and higher grades.

How Can REUs Help Retain Female Undergraduates? Affinity Research Groups (Case Study 2)

Undergraduates with positive research experiences feel more confident and motivated to enter graduate programs. To facilitate successful REUs, supportive faculty advisors or graduate mentors should clearly communicate goals to students and allow them to spend a large amount of time on research, increasing independence as the project progresses. The Affinity Research Group model (ARG) integrates student participation in research teams and a structured cooperative learning environment.

More than 40 years of data on authors of ACM conference papers describe women’s contribution to this important aspect of computing professional life. The data show that women’s authorship increased substantially over time, and that relative to their representation in the likely pool of ACM conference paper authors, women Ph.D.s were especially productive. Initial tests indicate that the increase in women’s share of papers was due in large part to the increase in number of women in the community of potential authors.

The February 2011 National Girls Collaborative Project Webinar, NCWIT Resources: Inspiring Girls to Pursue Careers in Information Technology, is archived at the NGCP website. This webcast highlights free materials and information for attracting more girls and underrepresented groups to computing and information technology and shares how formal and informal educators are using these resources to strengthen programming for girls. An archive of the webinar and the final powerpoint slides are available for viewing:

How Do You Support Completion of Graduate Degrees and Engender Commitment to a Research Career? Advisor as Steward of the Discipline (Case Study 1)

Students most likely to complete their graduate studies are those who are viewed as junior colleagues in a positive relationship with their advisors and who are well integrated into their department’s or lab’s intellectual community. Where one woman graduate student finds support and guidance from her advisor, another is stifled by her advisor’s inconsistent and inappropriate behavior. Systems of accountability, together with trained and caring advisors, increase the chances that doctoral students will successfully navigate the path to research careers.