The Computing Research Association (CRA) produced a survey for universities and colleges in the U.S. and Canada to measure enrollment trends within computer science (CS) departments. The results of this survey were very encouraging in terms of enrollment growth. The number of CS majors at North American doctoral institutions has more than tripled since 2006, and there has been a significant increase in the overall number of undergraduate CS women and underrepresented minority (URM) students.
However, CRA’s survey also shows there is still room for improvement if academic institutions truly wish to be more diverse and inclusive. Although the overall number of female and URM students in CS is increasing, this is not true for every university and college involved in the survey. There has also been a decrease in the number of female and URM students as the CS course levels increase. CRA researchers plan to conduct further investigations “to determine whether a leaky pipeline exists, or whether there is another explanation for this trend.”
Tracy Camp, Professor at Colorado School of Mines and a member of AnitaB.org’s Academic Advisory Council, was one of the leads on the CRA report. The Academic Advisory Council provides AnitaB.org with guidance on how to best serve our student and faculty audiences.
Learn more about CRA’s research and what problems CS departments need to address in order to increase diversity.