Volume 7

Volume 7, Number 29

April 17, 2009

11 pages633 K bytes

Patching the Pipeline: A Community College Approach


Barbara Leitherer
The Community College of Baltimore County
Baltimore, MD 21237 USA

Donna Tupper
The Community College of Baltimore County
Baltimore, MD 21237 USA

Abstract: It has long been known that women are a critically under-represented group within the Computer Science community. Since Tracy Camp’s (1997) landmark article “The Incredible Shrinking Pipeline”, significant research has been done on the enrollment and retention of women in computer-related fields at both the K-12 and within the four-year college and university communities to examine why this phenomenon has continued to occur. However, limited research has been done at the community college level. In addition to many of the reasons cited about why women do not pursue careers in computer science at the community college level, the problem is further exacerbated by the fact that students, both men and women, tend to lack the fundamental math skills necessary to achieve successful careers in the computer and information sciences. Through a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) has established the Grace Hopper Scholars Program (GHSP) to determine whether the key to attracting more women to computer science and related technology fields lies in support for multiple applied learning opportunities, female role models and mentors, mathematics training or a combination of all the above. Project elements include a comprehensive recruitment strategy, bridge programs, specialized tutorial services, social activities, career advice, onsite company visits, and tuition reimbursement for a non-developmental math course.

Keywords: enrollment trends, recruitment, retention, women in computing, mentoring, tutoring, two-year college programs

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Recommended Citation: Leitherer and Tupper (2009). Patching the Pipeline: A Community College Approach. Information Systems Education Journal, 7 (29). http://isedj.org/7/29/. ISSN: 1545-679X. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of ISECON 2007: §3334. ISSN: 1542-7382.)