Retention Strategies for Women in Computer Science at Acadia University.
The number of women studying Computer Science has been declining since the mid-1980’s. Despite many studies, there is no one clear reason why this has happened. In the last few years, researchers have shifted their focus from studying why women don’t want to study computer science to retaining those who do decide to study computer science. Several universities (University of British Columbia, Carnegie Mellon University, Harvey Mudd University, University of North Carolina at Wilmington) have been successful at raising their female enrollment from the 10 – 15% range back to the 30 – 40% range. Currently, at Acadia University, the number of women studying computer science is less than 10% of the total computer science enrollment. The goal of this research is to try to replicate their successes at Acadia University.
The research consists of a survey for current Computer Science students at Acadia, former Computer Science students still enrolled at Acadia who have switched majors, and Computer Science alumni who have graduated from Acadia. The survey consists of questions regarding perceptions about Computer Science, attitudes regarding instructors and contains sections where input can be given on retention strategies for Computer Science students of all genders.
If you have any further questions please refer to the FAQ below:
1. Why me?
2. What do I have to do?
3. Who am I doing it for?/Why?
4. What do you want to know?/Who can see my responses?
5. What platform is being used to conduct the surveys?
6. Am I obligated to complete this survey?/Am I able to withdraw at any time?
7. Are the contents of this study being commercialized?/Will I be identifiable from the data?
8. Are there any risks associated with participating in this study?/What are my legal rights?
9. Is there a reward?
10. Who can I ask for more information about this?
3. This study, entitled “Retention Strategies for Women in Computer Science at Acadia University” is being conducted by Cindy Trudel, an Instructor at Jodrey School of Computer Science at Acadia University. Currently, at Acadia, the number of women studying Computer Science is less than 10% of the total Computer Science enrollment. The number of women studying Computer Science has been declining since the mid-1980’s. Despite many studies, there is no one clear reason why this has happened. In the last few years, researchers have shifted their focus from studying why women don’t want to study Computer Science to retaining those who do decide to study computer science. Several universities have been successful at raising their female enrollment from the 10 – 15% range back to the 30 – 40% range. The goal is to try to replicate their successes at Acadia University. A research grant has been given by Research and Graduate Studies at Acadia University to conduct this study.
4. The survey centers on your experience in the Computer Science program at Acadia and will ask you to compare yourself to your Computer Science classmates. The only people who will have access to the data will be Cindy Trudel and her research assistant. Once the survey is closed the data will be imported into a password protected Excel file that only Cindy Trudel will have access to.
5. The name of the survey platform being used is LimeSurvey and all information will be hosted on a secure server located at Acadia University. You can find out more about LimeSurvey at limesurvey.org.
6. You are under no obligation to participate and are free to withdraw any time before you finish the survey. Because of the anonymity of the LimeSurvey process, once a survey is complete, it cannot be traced back to the respondent and will not be able to be pulled from the dataset. Also, by consenting to participate in this study you have not waived any rights to legal recourse in the event of research-related harm.
7. No, the contents of this study are not being commercialized. The findings will eventually be published by Cindy Trudel. When the research findings are published, all data will be reported at an aggregate level. Great care will be taken to ensure that no one person can be identified even if they are the only person in their class who answered the survey.
10. If you have any questions on this survey or this research area, please do not hesitate to contact Cindy Trudel, either by phone 902-585-1449 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. This research project has been reviewed by the Research Ethics Board at Acadia University. If you have any questions regarding the ethical aspects of this research, please contact Stephen Maitzen, Chair, Research Ethics Board, Acadia University at 902-585-1407 or email email@example.com.