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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Print: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.2017017221
pages 101-119

DIVERSIFYING UNDERGRADUATE COMPUTER SCIENCE: THE ROLE OF DEPARTMENT CHAIRS IN PROMOTING GENDER AND RACIAL DIVERSITY

Linda J. Sax
Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095-1521, USA
Hilary B. Zimmerman
University of California Los Angeles
Jennifer M. Blaney
University of California Los Angeles
Brit Toven-Lindsey
University of California Los Angeles
Kathleen Lehman
University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA

ABSTRACT

Broadening participation in computer science for women and underrepresented minority students remains an area of concern for many colleges and universities. Yet, little is known about the role of department chairs in initiating and leading efforts to recruit and retain women and students of color. Interviews with 15 department chairs participating in a nationwide effort to diversify computer science provide greater understanding about the change process and reveal insights about the barriers to and challenges in broadening participation. The findings illuminate the ways that department chairs grapple with both internal and external factors that impact their ability to diversify their departments.


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