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Student Perspectives of the Community College Pathway to a Computer Science Bachelor's Degree: Challenges to and Strategies for Navigating Transfer

Student Perspectives of the Community College Pathway to a Computer Science Degree

Funder

Google, Inc.

PI(s)

Louise Ann Lyon

Description

This study, funded and published by Google Inc., reported on in-depth interviews and surveys with community college students in computer science. The study aimed to understand the experiences and backgrounds of traditionally underrepresented students taking computer science classes in order to inform strategies to increase support and help students overcome barriers to persisting in CS. Key findings included: community college students struggle to efficiently and quickly more through the CS prerequisite chain of classes in preparation for transfer, students are confused about CS transfer pathways from their community college to their target four-year institution, and students have limited knowledge of how CS is applied in professional settings and how to prepare for a career in CS. Recommendations for colleges include increasing flexibility and support for students and clarifying and streamlining CS pathways. Findings from the study also suggest that college-industry partnerships to bring information or speakers into the classroom or to bring students to the workplace would encourage students to persist in CS.