In progress
Shira Lynn Broschat


Activity Start Date 
January 1, 2016
Target Completion Date 
December 31, 2017
Goal statement 
Pacesetters Goal #1: Increase female student enrollment in CptS 223 and CptS 233, Advanced Data Structures C/C++ and Advanced Data Structures Java, to 15% by fall 2017.


Washington State University
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Activity Description 

The Advanced Data Structures course (CptS 223 or CptS 233) is the third course in our computer science curriculum. It follows two consecutive programming courses and is either a prerequisite or co-requisite course for almost all other courses in the major. Thus, it is a key course in our CS curriculum.

CptS 111, Introduction to Algorithmic Problem Solving, is a 3-credit course that is not required in the major, but it has served in a development capacity for students not yet ready to take the two programming courses that are required. Recently it has been approved to satisfy a university-wide requirement, and we are planning to use it to recruit as many female students into the computer science curriculum as possible. All female students who do well after the first exam will be contacted and encouraged to meet with select faculty, students, and advisors to learn more about computing majors. We believe this will send a very positive message to these students. We cannot know how successful we will be, but to form an estimate of the potential number of female students needed in CptS 111, we calculated the retention of female students starting in CptS 111 and progressing to CptS 223. Unfortunately, we cannot change the fall 2016 teaching schedule because it was determined in fall 2015, but based on our calculations, we will offer a minimum of 250 seats in CptS 111 in spring 2017 compared to 145 in 2014 on which our calculations were based. We will offer 200 seats in fall 2016.

We will survey all students enrolled in CptS 111 and the two paris of programming courses following CptS 111 (CptS 121/122 C/C++ and CptS 131/132 Java, to be offered for the first time in fall 2016) at the beginning and end of each semester to keep track of what courses they have taken, what major they are in, and whether they have changed their major or are thinking of changing their major. We will also use enrollment numbers for each of the 7 courses of interest (CptS 111, CptS 121/122, CptS 131/132, CptS 223/233).

Goal tag(s)