Resources

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

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)

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)

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.

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How to Create and Sustain a Women in Computing Group on Your Campus

Women's groups can help to retain students and can provide an infrastructure for local activism. This brief guide discusses how to get a group started and to build its structure, the importance of maintaining an open and public presence, possible activities, ways to build membership, and the value of affiliating with other groups.

How Can Encouragement Increase Persistence in Computing? Encouragement Works in Academic Settings (Case Study 1)

How Can Encouragement Increase Persistence in Computing? Encouragement Works in Academic Settings (Case Study 1)

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. Simple though encouragement is, fewer than half of the faculty members in the average computer science department in the United States say they do it.

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Resources for Change Agents

Guide to resources for attracting undergraduate women into computing and retaining them through graduation, including tools for assessing your efforts.

REU-in-a-Box

REU-In-A-Box: Expanding the Pool of Computing Researchers

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. 

¿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?

Information Technology: How the power of IT and the power of women will power the future

Information Technology: How the power of IT and the power of women will power the future

A report on the importance of IT to our future, and why women's participation matters.

How Do You Recruit or Retain Women through Inclusive Pedagogy? Designing for Diversity (Case Study 2)

How Do You Recruit or Retain Women through Inclusive Pedagogy? Designing for Diversity (Case Study 2)

Women and minority students are not in computing courses under the same conditions as their white male classmates. Instructional practices offer opportunities to level the playing field and improve the retention of underrepresented students. A new, smaller introductory computer science class tailored for inexperienced students at the University of Virginia recruited more minority and women students and resulted in many more students declaring a major in computer science.

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.”

How Do You Retain Women through Collaborative Learning? Pair Programming (Case Study 1)

How Do You Retain Women through Collaborative Learning? Pair Programming (Case Study 1)

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. Pair programming assignments within computer science courses both attract and retain more students in CS majors. In addition, women feel more confident when pair programming is used in the classroom.

Survey-in-a-Box

Survey-in-a-Box: Student Experience of the Major

A survey and associated resources for assessing, interpreting, and improving the climate of undergraduate computing departments to improve retention of and increase enrollment by all students.

Promising Practices Catalog

Promising Practices Catalog

This document presents very brief summaries of promising and effective practices identified by NCWIT social scientists and will evolve as more practices are developed and recognized. The practices summarized here aim to 1) Increase the numbers of girls and women in computing. They have goals or benefits related to recruiting, retaining, or advancing the diverse range of females. 2) Make diversity in computing matter to individuals, organizations, and society. They have goals or benefits related to innovation, communication, and talent development.

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