EAGER: Broadening the Pathway:

A case study analysis of the implications of math and science on computer science graduates' employability

This proposal is designed to understand the salary potential and employability of students who graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science (BACS) ? primarily distinguished by the removal of calculus and physics requirements from the traditional computer science curriculum. Given the numerous studies that identify gateway courses like calculus and physics as impediments to students? persistence in engineering and computer science AND their particular impact on women, Black and Hispanic students, the removal of this barrier has incredible potential for broadening participation in computing. This critical instance case study was designed to explore the student and administrative motivations for pursuing this alternative pathway and compare student employment and salary information to their Bachelor of Science in Computer Science peers. The study will consist of the following data elements: curriculum analysis and comparison, interviews with administrators that advocated for the new degree, interviews with administrators that did not advocate for the new degree, interviews with students that completed the BACS ? prior to graduation and 6 months after starting their new job (or post-graduation). Likewise, a survey of all graduates from both degrees will capture data such as degree awarded, employment status, and self-reported starting salary information. The guiding theoretical frameworks will be cultural-historical activity theory, social identity theory and anti-deficit achievement frameworks.

  • Focus: Undergraduate, Computer Science 
  • Funder: National Science Foundation
  • Team: Monique Ross, Kathleen Quardokus Fisher
  • Award Number: NSF 2035326
  • Contact: Monique Ross moross@cs.fiu.edu