Broadening Participation

Our Initiatives

We have two sets of initiatives, those that are currently in place and those that are in plan (or under development). The initiatives in place include:

  • An active BPC faculty committee taking input from students and using collected data to make decisions.
  • Member of an NCWIT learning circle for one year to learn best practices for BPC.
  • Active involvement and buy-in by “front line” staff and advisors who are often the first level of interaction with students and prospective students.
  • 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.
  • 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 lunches, industry talks, does K-12 outreach, and many other activities of interest and benefit to women and populations underrepresented in computing students.
  • 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.
  • Refactoring of our CS1 class (COP 2510) for computer science and computer engineering. We now have a separate section for students with little, or no, previous programming experience. Students in all sections meet the same learning outcomes.
  • 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.

  • Starting a CSE ambassadors program focused on women and populations underrepresented in computing participation where selected CSE undergraduate students participate in K-12 and prospective student visits to campus.

  • 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.

  • Communicating the progress of BPC activities in all department meetings and in the annual CSE retreat. The 2019 CSE retreat included a workshop on implicit bias.

  • 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.

The initiatives under development include:

  • Increasing K-12 and Community College outreach efforts to include multiple visits per semester and multiple on-campus “event days”.