University of North Carolina Charlotte Aims to Address the Gender Gap in Computer Science

unc charlotteThe College of Computing and Informatics at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte has launched a new Women in Computing Initiative. The goal is to increase the number of women majoring in computer science at the university and to help them succeed and earn their degrees.

The university reports that its College of Computing and Informatics is one of the largest computing programs in the United States and accounts for 25 percent of overall enrollments in information technology degree programs in the entire University of North Carolina System. Yet only 16 percent of the undergraduate majors in the college are women.

Yi Dang, dean of the College of Computing and Informatics, states that “our goal is simple. Increase the percentage of women undergraduate majors from the current 16 percent to 30 percent, or 500 female undergraduate students in five years, and to double the number of female graduates.”

How does the university plan to accomplish these goals? First, a scholarship fund to attract women to the program has been established. A faculty and peer mentoring program will provide support networks to help women students succeed. A FemmTech curriculum, open to men and women, will explore career opportunities for women in high-tech fields. Finally the university has pledged to “improve the college culture, policy, and faculty leadership to build a welcoming environment for female students.”

Dr. Deng adds that “our success will set a national model for others to follow. We invite business and industry to be a part of the movement to change the equation of gender diversity in computing.”

Filed Under: Gender GapSTEM Fields


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