GRACE HOPPER CELEBRATION OF WOMEN IN COMPUTING, OCTOBER 6-9, 2004, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

Panel: The Role of Mentoring in Recruiting and Retaining Female Undergraduate Students in Computer Science

Dr. Nancy Amato, Texas A & M University, amato@cs.tamu.edu

Michele Ng, University of British Columbia, mng@cs.ubc.ca

Dr. Sheila Humphreys, University of California at Berkeley, humphrys@eecs.berkeley.edu

Abstract:

The panel will present mentoring initiatives launched by various educational institutions to retain and recruit undergraduate students in Computer Science. Research has shown that, given the low participation of women in university computer science programs in North America, mentoring programs are seen as one of the most valuable tools in preventing attrition and improving the overall learning experience among female computer science students.  The objective of the panel is to share information on the background, structure, effectiveness and challenges of various mentoring initiatives in the context of the experience of female undergraduates in Computer Science.  The focus of the panel will be on undergraduate mentoring since students' experience at the undergraduate level, especially during the first and second year in university, is crucial to their decision in choosing a career in Computer Science.