Trends in CS Enrollments at Small, Liberal Arts Colleges
Great to see some data on what’s going on at smaller schools, not just in the doctoral-granting institutions. On average, as much of an upswing as what’s reported in the Taulbee, but not all schools reporting increases. Interesting analyses of what’s working and what’s not.
What contributes to the program’s success? Faculty involvement, quality teaching, and enthusiasm for undergraduate research. Flexibility with prerequisites and independent studies. Outreach. Interdisciplinary projects. Growing knowledge/visibility about CS and its broad usefulness, including awareness among faculty colleagues. The job market. Multiple introductory courses/sections. Inclusion in general distribution requirements. Becoming a separate department. Stable set of faculty. Students choosing first-semester courses themselves.
Decline? External forces/national trends. Not enough faculty to offer enough spaces in lower level courses. Faculty turnover. Student rumor mill (regarding a potential cut).