Resources

Strategic Planning for Retaining Women in Undergraduate Computing

Strategic Planning for Retaining Women in Undergraduate Computing

This workbook presents some guidelines for strategically planning a multi-pronged approach to retain females — and all students — in undergraduate computing programs of study.

Key Practices for Retaining Undergraduates in Computing

Key Practices for Retaining Undergraduates in Computing

Based in research on women’s participation in computing, this document outlines a model of the system of undergraduate experiences that affect retention in undergraduate programs. To create and sustain excellence through diversity, effective practices must be mainstreamed into the experiences of all students, not just those of women or minorities.

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How Does Combating Overt Sexism Affect Women's Retention?

Sexism has measurably harmful effects, but sexist behavior can be minimized. Instructors and supervisors can practice zero tolerance and facilitate positive peer interactions, and they can provide highly visible leadership, policies, and procedures that go beyond legalities to explicitly denounce sexism.

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How Can REUs Help Retain Female Undergraduates?

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.

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Talking Points

Institutional Barriers & Their Effects: How can I talk to colleagues about these issues?

Institutional barriers (IBs) are policies, procedures, or situations that systematically disadvantage certain groups of people. IBs exist in any majority-minority group situation. When an initial population is fairly similar (e.g., in male-dominated professions), systems naturally emerge to meet the needs of this population. If these systems do not change with the times, they can inhibit the success of new members with different needs. IBs often seem natural or “just the way things are around here.”

Talking Points

Comparing U.S. K-12 Students' Math and Science Performance Internationally: What are the facts, what do they mean for educational reform, and how do I talk effectively about the issues?

In the popular press and in public debate, one often hears that U.S. students are performing poorly in math and science in comparison to other countries. What is the basis for these claims? What are students’ actual scores and rankings? How should we interpret and use these scores? A better understanding of the evidence is important for making effective policy decisions that affect computer science and other STEM fields.

Pair Programming-in-a-Box: The Power of Collaborative Learning

Pair Programming-in-a-Box: The Power of Collaborative Learning

Pair programming is a collaborative learning method in which students program in pairs instead of individually. This approach significantly improves college students' programming competency and increases the likelihood that both male and female students become and remain computer science majors. During pair programming, students work in tandem at one computer while completing regular programming assignments. The "driver" controls the mouse and keyboard while the "navigator" makes suggestions, points out errors, and asks questions.

¿Por qué las jóvenes deberían considerar una carrera en tecnología de la información?

Spanish version of Why Should Young Women Consider a Career in Information Technology? This card gives adults talking points and additional resources for a conversation with their daughters and/or other young people. The main message is that IT offers meaningful work, security and high salaries with a bachelor’s degree, and flexibility and variety. Information is provided to address these specific questions: What should you tell a young woman about a career in IT? How can a young woman prepare now for a career in IT?

Communicating for Change: Persuade Colleagues to Get on Board

Communicating for Change: Persuade Colleagues to Get on Board

Changing the culture of an organization to one that promotes women’s participation in computing requires that members reach new understandings and act in new ways. Enlisting allies in this process requires persuasive communication. This resource provides guidance on the four distinct and necessary steps for the long-term process of effective persuasion.

Pipeline-in-a-Box

Pipeline-in-a-Box: Promoting Advancement of CS/IT Students from Two-Year to Four-Year Institutions

Are you ready to transform the lives of community college students and diversify the computer science (CS) and information technology (IT) student body at four-year institutions? Let Pipeline-in-a-Box: Promoting Advancement of CS/IT Students From Two-Year to Four-Year Institutionsease the way.

Gearing Up for Change

Gearing Up for Change: Institutional Reform in Undergraduate Computing Programs

Change agents must understand and consider their organization’s complex and interlocking systems. Plans for change must ensure that subsystems work in harmony with each other to reinforce the envisioned change. This resource outlines the prerequisites to transforming for diversity in undergraduate computing and explains NCWIT’s Extension Services for Undergraduate Programs (ES-UP). Members of the Academic Alliance are entitled to free services from the NCWIT ES-UP in support of their organizational change.

Why Should Young Women Consider a Career in Information Technology?

Why Should Young Women Consider a Career in Information Technology?

This card gives adults talking points and additional resources for a conversation with their daughters and/or other young people. The main message is that IT offers meaningful work, security and high salaries with a bachelor’s degree, and flexibility and variety. Information is provided to address these specific questions: What should you tell a young woman about a career in IT? How can a young woman prepare now for a career in IT?

How Can You Re-Engineer Your Undergraduate Program to Increase Women's Representation in Computing? Small Steps Toward Systemic Change (Case Study 1)

How Can You Re-Engineer Your Undergraduate Program to Increase Women’s Representation in Computing?

The socio-educational system a student experiences shapes participation in the major. Altering one element of that system is often not enough to create enduring change. When faculty members are ready to implement organizational innovation, success is more likely if they receive support from institutional leaders, have access to adequate resources, and are able to participate in decision-making about the change.

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How Do Stereotype Threats Affect Retention?

Stereotype threat harms both performance and motivation by reducing our feelings of competence, belonging, and trust in our colleagues. However, careful thought, education, and regular assessment of diversity practices can help minimize incidents of stereotype threat.

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How Do You Support Completion of Graduate Degrees and Engender Commitment to a Research Career?

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.

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