Skip to Main Content

Advancing Women in Computer Science

Computer Science Department - DIMACS - Douglass Residential College

Advancing Women in Computer Science

The representation of women in Computer Science (CS) majors and minors has been declining since the 1980s and the percentage of women who graduate with a degree in computer science is the lowest across STEM, lower than math, engineering and the physical sciences, according to the U.S. Department of Education.  AWiCS (Advancing Women in Computer Science) aims to change these numbers.

The initiative is based on research results and best-practices that have been developed across the nation, targeting important strategic “pressure points” that are expected to have the highest impact. More specifically, our initiative starts with outreach efforts at the Middle School, where research results show that young female students start to lose interest in CS. It then progresses to outreach at the high school level to encourage women students to take CS classes leading to the College Board AP exam; research results have shown that such preparation can lead to increased success as undergraduates majoring (and minoring) in CS. Finally, at Rutgers, our initiative seeks to revise the Introduction to CS course, which is a critical starting point for the CS major and minor, support the Living Learning Community (LLC) for Women in CS, which provides a community experience that helps women students to build a peer-network and navigate a major with a significant gender gap, and expand co-curricular programming for both the CS LLC and for students taking CS 111 that will better connect learning material to social issues and real-world impact.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin