Effective University Practices for Increasing Retention of Minorities and Students With Disabilities in Computer Science

College Station, Texas, UNITED STATES

COLLEGE STATION, Texas, Sept. 21, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in IN (CMD-IT) today announced the winner of the CMD-IT University Award for Retention of Minorities and Students with Disabilities in Computer Science.  The University award recognizes US institutions that have demonstrated a commitment and shown results for the retention of students from underrepresented groups in undergraduate Computer Science programs over the last five years. The award, sponsored by Microsoft, is focused on the following underrepresented groups: African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, and People with Disabilities.  Georgia Tech will receive the award on September 22nd at the 2017 ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing in Atlanta, Georgia. 

“Reviewing the University Award submissions from leading universities throughout the United States identified critical best practices for increasing diversity in Computer Science programs.  We are very pleased to share some of these best practices,” said Valerie Taylor, Executive Director, CMD-IT.  “Our University Award winner, Georgia Tech, will be presenting their best practices at the 2017 Tapia Conference Faculty Workshop.”

The following are some of the best practices for retaining students shared by leading universities in their submissions:

  • Engage in National Committees and Task Forces on This Topic:  Universities successfully increase their representation of minorities and people with disabilities by actively seeking out and sharing best practices from experts.
  • Corporate and Peer Mentoring Programs:  Such programs provide support and guidance to students throughout their academic careers as well as providing them with role models.
  • Curriculum Development:  Some universities focus on creating curriculum that supports the academic, social and developmental needs of the students as well as allowing for customization to increase student engagement.
  • Communication:  Universities use a variety of tools such as regular meetings, surveys and events to further engage with students.
  • Organizations:  Universities are encouraging the establishment of chapters of national student support societies such as the National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the Society of Women Engineers to provide students with additional support from their peers.
  • Outreach to K-12:  Universities are investing in creating and implementing outreach programs to local and statewide K-12 computer science programs. These programs help feed the pipeline of future CS students and the programs also create committed students.

For more information, visit http://www.cmd-it.org/programs/current/university-award/.

About CMD-IT

The vision of CMD-IT is to contribute to the national need for an effective workforce in computing and IT through inclusive programs and initiatives focused on minorities and people with disabilities. CMD-IT’s vision is accomplished through its mission to insure that underrepresented groups are fully engaged in computing and IT and promotes innovation that enriches, enhances and enables underrepresented communities. For more information, please visit www.cmd-it.org.

Media Contact:  Jerri Barrett,  jerri@cmd-it.org