Proposal Title

Improving the Success and Retention of Computer Science Majors

Proposal Abstract

Grambling State University is nationally recognized as being a leader in STEM education. In spite of this success, retaining STEM students from the first to second year has been a challenge. To address this issue, in 2011, Grambling State received funding from the National Science Foundation to implement phase two of the Center for Mathematical Achievement in Science & Technology. This presentation will focus on teaching and learning strategies that support increasing the retention and success of computer science majors. Evidence will be provided that the redesign of introductory computer science courses has increased the acquisition of skills that support program learning outcomes. Prior to course redesign, ~71% of computer science majors were not successful in the introductory programming courses and less than 25% continued in the major after completing the freshman year. This high failure rate was believed to be due to the inability of most students to grasp the programming logic in a lecture setting. Computer Science faculty has infused into introductory programming courses, mini-programming projects that involve an incremental-in-intensity approach. The success of majors enrolled in freshman level programming courses has improved significantly. The retention rate from the first to second year has increased from 24.5% to 66%.

Location

Room 2002

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

Share

COinS
 
Mar 26th, 11:00 AM Mar 26th, 11:45 AM

Improving the Success and Retention of Computer Science Majors

Room 2002

Grambling State University is nationally recognized as being a leader in STEM education. In spite of this success, retaining STEM students from the first to second year has been a challenge. To address this issue, in 2011, Grambling State received funding from the National Science Foundation to implement phase two of the Center for Mathematical Achievement in Science & Technology. This presentation will focus on teaching and learning strategies that support increasing the retention and success of computer science majors. Evidence will be provided that the redesign of introductory computer science courses has increased the acquisition of skills that support program learning outcomes. Prior to course redesign, ~71% of computer science majors were not successful in the introductory programming courses and less than 25% continued in the major after completing the freshman year. This high failure rate was believed to be due to the inability of most students to grasp the programming logic in a lecture setting. Computer Science faculty has infused into introductory programming courses, mini-programming projects that involve an incremental-in-intensity approach. The success of majors enrolled in freshman level programming courses has improved significantly. The retention rate from the first to second year has increased from 24.5% to 66%.