Encouraging Minority Enrollment in IT Degree Programs through Participatory Organizations

Theresa Steinbach, James White, Linda Knight
InSITE 2002  •  Volume 2  •  2002
Worldwide demand for qualified IT workers has employers exploring under-represented segments of the workforce. The percentage of women IT workers is not keeping pace with the growth of the industry. Minority populations, which are country specific, are also under-represented segments. This paper focuses on three significant minority segments in the United States: women, African Americans and Hispanic Americans. Studies have shown that increasing the number of these three groups enrolled in university computer science programs can help ease the shortage of qualified IT workers. One approach to attract and retain these students is to encourage the use of participatory organizations. This paper traces the initial efforts of one university to retain these segments through student-led chapters of the Association for Computing Machinery - Women, National Society of Black Engineers and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. Critical success factors are identified for use by other universities interested in initiating similar programs.
minority, women, African American, Hispanic American, student organizations, computer science
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