For our 2013-2015 Pacesetters goals, The University of Washington continues recruitment efforts focused on early-college women: recruiting a higher percentage of incoming female freshmen to UW CSE, and retaining strong women throughout our introductory programming course series.
In the past two years, we greatly increased our outreach to middle school and high school women through our DawgBytes http://www.cs.washington.edu/outreach/k12/ program. DawgBytes includes summer camps, programming competitions, and hosting an NCWIT Aspirations Award Ceremony at our university. We also reach out to influential teachers through our Inspirational Teachers Banquet and CS4HS (Computer Science for High Schools) workshops every summer, encouraging the K-12 community to cultivate technical interests in their students, and to send their strong men and women to our program.
Finally, more narrowly, we continue to work on our initial Pacesetters goal of retaining women in our introductory programming sequence, and encouraging them to pursue a CSE major. Of high-performing students in intro programming, women are less likely to continue to the second course in the series than men. We are committed to solving this problem, and encouraging more to continue into the field of computing. Our approach includes many of the efforts detailed in our initial Pacesetters plan: targeted outreach from Teaching Assistants to high-achieving women, emails from advising staff directly to the women doing well in the course, and invited teas where strong performing women have an opportunity to talk with young women in industry, faculty, and staff in our department.
By expanding our focus to include middle school and high school outreach, along with ongoing retention efforts in our introductory programming courses, we hope to move the needle ever closer to achieving and surpassing our goal of 30% women in CSE.