AbstractComputing departments in the United States are not producing the number of graduates that the workforce needs. At the same time, they lack gender and racial diversity. Therefore, it is important to attract students from minority groups that comprise a significant part of the US population and can bring an enriching, diverse perspective to the development of new technology. In this paper, we study patterns of enrollment and retention among minority students in a 4-year CS university program in order to better understand the challenges for increasing racial and ethnic diversity. We use student data from three core CS classes with a special focus on the introduction to programming (CS1) class. We compare the ethnic makeup of our CS enrollment with that of the student population at our university, that of the state and with nationwide numbers, and examine how the ethnic gap changes from an introductory programming class to an upper level class. We also analyze how different factors such as intent to major, prior experience in computing, and CS1 grades correlate with student retention.
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