US National Academics Report Investigates the Growth of CS Undergraduate Enrollments #CSEdWeek

December 6, 2017 at 7:00 am 2 comments

The new National Academies report on the growth of CS undergraduate enrollments came out last month. It’s important because it reflects the recommendations of scholars across disciplines in dealing with our enormous enrollment growth (see Generation CS report for more findings on the surge).

I wrote about this report in my Blog@CACM post for this month, The Real Costs of a Computer Science Teacher are Opportunity Costs, and Those Are Enormous.  The report talks about how hard it is to hire new faculty to deal with the enrollment boom, because the Tech industry is increasing its share of new PhD’s and recruiting away existing faculty.

Eric Roberts at Stanford was part of the report writing, and points out that the committee did not reach agreement that there is a problem with participation by underrepresented minorities. Quoting Eric’s message to SIGCSE-members, “the committee did not find comparable evidence that departmental limitations have historically had a negative effect on participation by underrepresented minorities. In fact, the total number of degrees awarded to students in the largest of the underrepresented demographic groups (African American and Latino/Latina) has roughly matched the percentages at which students from those communities obtain bachelor’s degrees.”  It’s surprising, and Eric’s note goes on to explain why that result is so concerning. The report does say clearly, “Institutions should take deliberate actions to support diversity in their computer science and related programs.”

Since 2006, computer science departments in the U.S and Canada have experienced a surge in the number of undergraduate majors and course enrollments. The resulting strain on departmental and institutional resources has been significant for many departments, especially with respect to faculty hiring and overall workload. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has recently addressed the issue with the release a report titled “Assessing and Responding to the Growth of Computer Science Undergraduate Enrollments.”

The NAS report discusses strategies central for managing enrollment and resources, and makes recommendations for departments and institutions. Its findings and recommendations provide much-needed guidelines on how institutions can allocate resources to meet growing student demand and to adequately support their computer science department in the increasingly central role of computer science in education and research. “The way colleges and universities respond to the surge in student interest and enrollment can have a significant impact on the health of the field,” said Susanne Hambrusch, co-chair of the report’s committee and a professor of computer science at Purdue University.  “While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, all institutions need to make strategic plans to address realistically and effectively the growing demand for the courses.”

Source: NAS Report Investigates the Growth of Computer Science Undergraduate Enrollments

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , , , .

Most jobs requiring CS skills do not require a CS degree #CSEdWeek NSF funds FLIP Alliance to diversify CS professoriate #CSEdWeek

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. mgozaydin  |  December 6, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Mark
    I do not like all of your comments .
    But I do appreciate very much for your challenge of CS undergraduate in the USA plus in the world .
    I took the first ALGOL course in 1963 at Stanford . I was amazed . I was the only engineer at HP in Palo Alto headquarter knowing how to program in our Burroghs Computer 5500 besides experts in the CS department in 1965-1970 .
    Future is CS . Sure it is not a sufficient word what we intend to mean I have been fascinated by the opportunities regarding ” learning ” . Yes let us keep encouraging youngsters to learn CS : This last report somehow the fruit of your works . Be happy . You have achieved . Best regards. .

    Reply
  • […] can’t succeed, that they can’t get better, and that they don’t belong — perhaps especially in times of rising enrollment. Mere nudges are not going to move the boulder.  We’re going to have to remove the barriers […]

    Reply

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