Does a Taste of Computing Increase Computer Science Enrollment?

April 2017


Steven McGee

The Learning Partnership

Randi McGee-Tekula

The Learning Partnership

Jennifer Duck

The Learning Partnership

Ronald I. Greenberg

Loyola University Chicago

Lucia Dettori

DePaul University

Dale F. Reed

University of Illinois at Chicago

Brenda Wilkerson

Chicago Public Schools

Don Yanek

Chicago Public Schools

Andrew Rasmussen

Chicago Public Schools

Gail Chapman

University of California

The reported study investigated the impact of the Exploring Computer Science (ECS) program on the likelihood that students of all races and genders would pursue further computer science coursework in high school. ECS is designed to foster deep engagement through equitable inquiry around computer science concepts. The course provides experiences that are personally relevant. Using survey research, the authors sought to measure whether the personal relevance of students’ course experiences influenced their expectancies of success in and value for the field of computer science and whether those attitudes predicted the probability that students pursued further computer science coursework. The results indicate that students find ECS courses personally relevant, are increasing their expectancies of success and perceived value for the field of computer science, and are more likely to take another computing course.

Suggested Citation

Steven McGee, Randi McGee-Tekula, Jennifer Duck, Ronald I. Greenberg, Lucia Dettori, Dale F. Reed, Brenda Wilkerson, Don Yanek, Andrew M. Rasmussen, and Gail Chapman. Does a Taste of Computing increase computer science enrollment?. Computing in Science & Engineering (Special Issue: Best of RESPECT 2016), 19(3):8–18, April 2017.