Broadening Participation

Our Initiatives

Our initiatives currently in place include:

  •  A three-year, $579,737 grant from the Center for Inclusive Computing at Northeastern University for funding evidence-based approaches to attract and retain more women in computing.
  • A CSE ambassadors program focused on women and populations underrepresented in computing participation where selected CSE undergraduate students participate in outreach events.
  • Updating admission criteria to create pathways into computing for undergraduate students in other majors.
  • Providing information about the department and programs to prospective students focusing on greater women and populations underrepresented in computing intake. Activities include having academic advisors, WiCSE members, and student ambassadors present at admission events (Orientation), Week of Welcome, and other recruiting and advising events.
  • Completing and disseminating a flier and website highlighting women and populations underrepresented in computing graduates to encourage future women and populations underrepresented in computing students to pursue a degree and career in a CSE major.
  • A very active Women in Computer Science and Engineering (WiCSE) student group with over 50% of all women CSE students as members. WiCSE hosts mentoring events, industry talks, does K-12 outreach, and many other activities of interest and benefit to women and populations underrepresented in computing students.
  • Sending students, faculty, and staff to the ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing conference and to the Grace Hopper Celebration. Travel funding comes from the department budget and corporate donations from our Computing Partners Program members.
  • Redesign entry level courses to be welcoming regardless of prior CS exposure.
  • An active BPC faculty committee taking input from students and using collected data to make decisions.
  • Active involvement and buy-in by “front line” staff and advisors who are often the first level of interaction with students and prospective students.
  • Communicating the progress of BPC activities in all department meetings and in the annual CSE retreat.
  • Developing a list of BPC activities that faculty can participate in and including participation in BPC activities as part of the yearly faculty evaluation.
  • Establishing a BPC award for faculty and staff to honor yearly BPC activities that have high impact.
  • Active data collection for all aspects of women and populations underrepresented in computing enrollment, retention, and graduation to enable tracking of year to year changes. Also, to predict future enrollment, retention, and graduation rates for possible curriculum changes.

Our previous initiatives include:

  • USF CSE is one of a handful of computing programs chosen to be an BRAID Affiliates Institution in 2020 to learn best practices from BRAID schools.
  • Member of the 2019 NCWIT (National Center for Women & Information Technology) learning circle project for one year to learn best practices for BPC.
  • A 3-year collaborative effort funded by the National Science Foundation under the Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC) program designed to bridge students from community colleges to 4-year universities and graduate school, led by Dr. Miguel A. Labrador and Dr. Rafael A. Perez.