NCWIT: 101 – Introduction to Diversifying Undergraduate Computing Programs
Org: National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)
NCWIT is a non-profit community that convenes, equips, and unites change leader organizations to increase the influential and meaningful participation of girls and women — at the intersections of race, ethnicity, class, age, sexual orientation, and disability status — in the field of computing, particularly in terms of innovation and development.
This self-guided course is designed for computing and information technology faculty and administrators who are beginning work on diversifying undergraduate computing programs or are trying to reignite existing initiatives.
In this course, you will learn from NCWIT social scientists and others from partner organizations, and from faculty and administrators who have implemented successful initiatives. At the end of the course, you’ll have a concrete plan for implementing doable recruitment and retention strategies, including some evaluation mechanisms that will help you grow your work.
Time commitment will vary by level of involvement. Estimated Time to Complete Modules (~30 hours):
- Module 1: 4 hours
- Module 2: 6 hours
- Module 3: 6 hours
- Module 4: 8 hours
- Module 5: 4 hours
- + Tying it all together 2-5 hours
How to use this Activity in your Project BPC Plan:
Not sure how to use this activity in your Project BPC Plan? Once you customize the red text, this activity should fit the checklist for Project BPC Plans. Disclaimer: Using this text in your Project Plan does not guarantee NSF approval of your BPC Plan.
Interested in this activity for your Departmental BPC Plan? Summarize the content below to fit the checklist for Departmental BPC Plans. Disclaimer: Using this text in your Departmental Plan does not guarantee BPCnet Verification of your BPC Plan.
If you intend to use this activity in your BPC Plan (Departmental or Project), be sure to submit the Program Interest form, found at the bottom of the page, so this organization is aware of your intended participation.
1. Context & Goals
Context: NCWIT’s self-paced course, NCWIT 101: Introduction to Diversifying Undergraduate Computing Programs teaches participants about how and why to make changes that will diversify undergraduate programs, based on the best available social science research. This activity is likely to be effective for BPC by teaching faculty and administrators critical social science concepts (i.e. such as stereotype threat and implicit bias) and techniques for recruiting and retaining students, and collecting data to evaluate those efforts.
Goal: The goal is to help the project team, and our colleagues, understand how underrepresentation of certain groups in computing occurs, how to make both individual- and departmental-level changes, including ensuring the classrooms, labs, and departmental culture are inclusive. The PI will attend all meetings related to this activity. The research team will commit to participating in 90% of meetings and will complete all “assignments.”
Activity Motivation: The course will provide the research team with the foundational knowledge we need to broaden participation in computing in our department.
2. Intended Population
Activity Participants: The research team.
Participant Recruitment: PIs will invite other departmental faculty and staff to participate.
Activity Content: PIs will identify a leader for each of the course modules. The PI will set up a schedule for the research team and support the module leader(s) in collecting homework.
During the first year of the project, the research team will:
- Complete the self-paced 16-hour course and homework (6 face-to-face meetings).
- Distribute homework equally amongst the project team. PIs lead homework discussions.
During the second year of the project, the research team will:
- Meet 6 times during the year to discuss and further develop the plan for BPC.
During the third year of the project, the research team will:
- Meet 6 times during the year to implement an agreed-upon intervention.
- Conduct a basic evaluation of preliminary results.
(minimum 18 meetings total in years 1-3)
Activity Budget: Year 1 is cost-free. Years 2 and 3 may have costs, depending on the goals and strategies the team decides upon.
Responsibilities of PIs: PI(s) will manage the coordination of and attend all meetings. The Co-PIs will participate fully, lead at least 3 meetings, and contribute to all discussions.
4. Preparation of PIs
The research team is ready to learn more about BPC, so need no further preparation to take this course. The PI can reach out to a BPC expert for coaching throughout this course, as needed.
In Year 1, the PI(s) will document attendance at each meeting and self-reports from participants, including reflections on the course and the completion of each module’s tasks. The PI will be guided by the fifth module of the course for the evaluation of this BPC activity. Evaluation activities such as departmental student data collection, surveys, observations, or interviews will take place in Years 2 and 3 and will assess the effectiveness of the BPC activities the team has chosen for their context. The PI will oversee the data collection and evaluation of the BPC activities. Finally, all participants will complete the course evaluation to provide feedback to NCWIT. All evaluation results will be reported in each annual NSF report.
Early Career, Graduate, High School, Mid Career, Undergraduate
American Indian or Alaska Native, Black or African American, Hispanic, LGBTQ, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Persons with Disabilities, Women
Program Matching Funds Available?