Five Year Journey of the CMD-IT University Award for Retention of Minorities and Students with Disabilities in Computer Science
Event Type
TimeFriday, September 182:30pm - 3:15pm
LocationCarlos Castillo Chavez Room
DescriptionThe CMD-IT University Award was created to recognize US institutions that have demonstrated a strong commitment to increasing the computer science baccalaureate degree production of minorities and students with disabilities, through effective retention programs. Over its four year history, different institutions have been recognized each with different set of programs, highlighting the diversity of efforts needed to increase participation in computing. In this panel, representatives of the previous winners of the CMD-IT University will present a brief overview of their programs, and update on what they have accomplished since the award, and join in the discussion of what is needed to increase the diversity of recipients of baccalaureate in computer science.

CMD-IT University Award Winner 2019
The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is the largest Mexican-American-majority R1 top tier doctoral university with Very High Research activity (Carnegie Classification). UTEP has an 80% Mexican-American student population and an enrollment of over 25,000 students. Thirty-two percent are from families with an annual household income of $20,000 or less; and 50 percent are from families in the lowest income quartile (combined annual household income of less than $38,000), which has led to UTEP’s ranking on the list of top 10 best U.S. colleges and universities for student upward mobility. In addition, it is the top institution in the continental U.S. for producing Hispanic bachelor’s graduates who continue to earn doctorates. The ABET-accredited B.S. in Computer Science program resides in the College of Engineering and is designated as a National Security Agency (NSA) Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cyber Operations and Cyber Defense (one of 21 in the U.S. with both designation). UTEP’s CS Department highlighted the following programs as directly impacting retention: the Affinity Research Group Model (ARG), a set of practices built on a cooperative team framework imbued with cooperative-learning principles and shown to increase student achievement and self-esteem; Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL), a model of instruction for introductory STEM courses that is based on a peer-led sessions as an integral part of the course; problem-solving courses, a competency-based approach that was developed with deep involvement with Google. The department is funded through the Revolutionizing Engineering and Computer Science Education (RED) program to focus on establishing a climate focused on equity and inclusion and student professional development. UTEP also serves as the backbone for the Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institution (CAHSI) which, with funding from the NSF Broadening Participation in Computing and the INCLUDES programs, works strategically to accelerate the recruitment, retention, and advancement of Hispanics in computing.

CMD-IT University Award Winner 2018
The College of Computing and Informatics (CCI) at UNC Charlotte is dedicated to educating and promoting a more diverse student body and workforce in the field of computing. In addition to advising, tutoring, and business partners, mentoring is an integral part of student success. Research shows that those who are mentored achieve a stronger sense of belonging to the university, greater career advancement, larger professional networks, and confidence than those who are not mentored. CCI Mentoring has various initiatives for students to engage in mentorship and professional development.

CMD-IT University Award Winner 2017
Georgia Tech's College of Computing is a top 10 program in computing education and research. We are a growing, global computing community nearly 50 years in the making. Our goal is nothing less than to change the world - for the better - through computing. Distinguished faculty and a tightly-knit sense of community differentiates GT Computing from other computer science programs. Within the Schools of Computer Science, Interactive Computing, and Computational Science & Engineering, renowned computing experts train the technology leaders and innovators of tomorrow.
Receiving the CMD-IT award in 2017 allowed the College to provide
● scholarships for underrepresented high school students to participate in summer camps where they gained valuable skills and exposure to computing;
● scholarships for more computing students to participate in the Challenge Program, a bridge program designed to prepare incoming first-year students for a successful college career, run through the Office of Minority Education and Development;
● professional development workshops for undergraduate students that provided students with the tangible skills needed to better prepare them for internship and research opportunities.