The Center for Inclusive Computing (CIC) at Northeastern University’s Khoury College of Computer Sciences was founded in 2019 by Dr. Carla Brodley. The center supports computing departments in implementing evidence-based practices to broaden participation in computing. Drs. Sax and Lehman were invited to collaborate with the CIC team to conduct research that builds off our prior work with the BRAID project and generates new knowledge that informs efforts to increase the representation of women and individuals from minoritized and marginalized groups in computing fields. In the CIC research project, we are particularly interested in understanding the experiences and pathways of students with intersecting gender and racial/ethnic identities (e.g., Women of Color). To this end, we are gathering longitudinal data on students’ experiences in computing departments to examine their trajectories in computing through college and beyond into careers and graduate school.

CIC research design graphic

Baseline Survey

In Fall 2021, we administered a baseline survey of first- and second-year students enrolled in computing courses with programming components at 16 CIC institutions. Over 9,000 students responded to our baseline survey (response rate approx. 25%) and a follow-up survey will be launched in the spring of 2023. As we continue to expand our longitudinal dataset with additional follow-up surveys, we will produce research that informs institutional efforts and best practices to support all students in computing, especially those from minoritized and marginalized groups.

The baseline survey includes social, cognitive, and behavioral aspects with the following categories:

  • Demographic and academic background
  • College selection and transition
  • Prior programming experience
  • Computing co-curricular activities
  • Major, minor, and career aspirations
  • Computing department climates
  • Peer and faculty support
  • Student-centered teaching and learning
  • Computer science identity
  • Self-efficacy
  • Perceptions and attitudes about computing

Follow-up Surveys

Students who participated in the CIC Baseline Survey will be invited to take the follow-up surveys to track their progress-to-degree and their academic and professional career aspirations and attainment. The first follow-up survey will be administered in Spring 2023. Survey items will include many items from the baseline survey (to track students’ affective change over time) as well as several additional categories reflecting the experiences of upper division computing students.

Coming soon!