Attracting and Retaining Women in Computer Science and Engineering: Evaluating the Results Page: 1
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Attracting and Retaining Women in Computer Science and Engineering:
Evaluating the Results
DAVID KEATHLY and ROBERT AKL
University of North Texas, Computer Science and Engineering,
Denton, TX 76203, USA. E-mail: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Computer science and engineering communities have been exploring a variety of activities and
techniques to attract and retain more students, especially women and minorities, to computer
science and computer engineering degree programs . This paper briefly describes the efforts and
results of a plan for actively recruiting young women into undergraduate computer engineering
and computer science programs hosted by the University of North Texas (UNT). It also describes
a series of activities aimed at improving the retention rate of students already in our programs,
particularly during the freshman year. Such recruitment and retention efforts are critical to the
country's efforts to increase the number of engineering professionals, and are a priority for the
Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) Department at UNT.
We initially designed a three-part plan to achieve our recruitment and retention goals:
* Sponsorship of portable and mobile summer computer engineering robotics camps for
middle and high-school women students, coordinating with the regional Girl Scouts
councils and other organizations to help with the recruitment;
* Creation of an Ambassador program using young women currently enrolled in the upper
division of current computer science and computer engineering programs as a form of
outreach to area high schools and junior colleges; and
* Expansion of our successful undergraduate mentoring program by using the Ambassador
cohort mentioned above as mentors for incoming freshman and first-year transfer women
entering our programs.
After briefly outlining the content and purpose of each activity, this paper will focus on the
summer camp program and present an analysis of the results we have seen to date after 2 years of
summer camps. Results from student surveys and parent surveys will be presented. The paper
concludes with recommended changes and improvements in the program, as well as a discussion
of adaptations that would create programs suitable for implementation at other institutions as
well as programs aimed at a different target population.
The three phases previously enumerated each build upon currently accepted educational
practices. The robotics summer camp in particular used problem-based learning approaches,
similar to those described in The Power ofProblem-Based Learning2. This study clearly
demonstrates the significant benefits of teaching students how to think by using a problem-based
approach. We also developed a mobile laboratory so that the summer camp can be held at several
locations, thus broadening and expanding the reach of the camps to traditionally underserved
populations and geographical regions. Similarly, both the ambassador and mentoring programs
derive from research showing how the recruitment and retention of women in engineering-
Here’s what’s next.
This paper can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Paper.
Keathly, David & Akl, Robert G. Attracting and Retaining Women in Computer Science and Engineering: Evaluating the Results, paper, June 2007; [Washington, DC]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30834/m1/1/: accessed December 12, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Engineering.