Members of the BRAID Research team are engaged in additional research projects in order to deepen our understanding of students’ experiences in computing and best practices for diversifying computing majors and the technology sector. As they become available, publications and presentations on these projects can be found on our Findings page, under Related Research.  

AP CS PRINCIPLES

Following years in the pilot stage, the College Board approved a new AP course—Computer Science Principles (AP CS-P)—for roll-out in the 2016-17 school year.  AP CS-P introduces students to the foundational concepts of computer science and challenges them to explore how computing and technology can impact the broader world. With a unique focus on creative problem-solving and real-world applications, AP CS-P is designed with the goal of creating leaders in computer science fields and attracting and engaging those students who are traditionally underrepresented (particularly females and Latinos, African Americans, and American Indians), and providing them with essential computing tools and multidisciplinary opportunities. 

This project uses data collected by the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) Freshman Survey to examine the characteristics of entering college students who had taken AP CS-A (the “traditional” course) and/or AP CS-P (the new course) while in high school. The study will consider student traits such as demographic and academic background, aspects of self-confidence, academic major, and career aspirations. The study will be particularly focused on how AP CS course-taking predicts intent to major in a computing field or aspire to a computing career, and whether this differs by gender and race/ethnicity. The project represents a collaboration between Professor Linda Sax at UCLA and Professor Joanna Goode of the University of Oregon. (Contact: Dr. Linda Sax, lsax@ucla.edu)

THE REPRESENTATION OF AFRICAN AMERICANS IN UNDERGRADUATE COMPUTING

At a time of significant national interest in the development of trained computer scientists, and a growing understanding of the importance of diversity in all STEM fields, this project aims to establish clarity on the representation of African American men and women in undergraduate computing disciplines. Through analysis of data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) over three decades, this study examines trends in African American students’ degree attainment in computing fields as it varies by computing subfield, type of institution, and gender. Special attention is being paid to the role of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the production of African Americans computer scientists. (Contact: Dr. Linda Sax, lsax@ucla.edu) 

ROLE OF COLLEGE EXPERIENCES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF SELF-AUTHORED WORLDVIEW COMMITMENT FOR FIRST-YEAR STEM STUDENTS

This project is focused on the role of college experiences in the development of self-authored worldview commitment for first-year STEM students. This study examines how students within STEM develop a spiritual or worldview commitment and how their experiences within their major may foster or hinder the development of a spiritual commitment. This research reflects a collaboration between Dr. Kathleen Lehman at UCLA, Dr. Tiffani Riggers-Piehl (University of Missouri-Kansas City), and Emily Sandvall (Baylor University) and is made possible through the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Interfaith Youth Core, Dr. Matthew Mayhew (OSU), and Dr. Alyssa Rockenbach (NCSU). (Contact: Dr. Kathleen Lehman, kate.j.lehman@gmail.com)