Saturday, October 1, 2011

Are African Americans Surging in Computer Science?

Soulclap to Booker Rising for pointing us to this Science Careers article --From MySciNet.
"A report released last week by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) found that first-time enrollment in science graduate programs increased last fall even as graduate enrollment across all disciplines -- including nonscientific ones -- dropped slightly. But the study's most intriguing number was hidden beneath the headlines: 33.6%. That's the reported percent increase, between the fall semesters of 2009 and 2010, in the number of Black and African American students entering math and computer science graduate programs.

More about Blacks and computer science: "Despite the substantial uptick, the number remained small: just 981. 'We're looking at fewer than 1000 students total,' says Nathan Bell, director of research and analysis for CGS. 'It doesn't take a lot of gain numerically to result in a large percentage increase.' Still, that's an extraordinary increase, he says. 'It is a big jump among a small number of students.' Such a large percentage change, he says, is unlikely to be random."
This is a great sign for BDPA stakeholders. We have to redouble our efforts to get K-12 students interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses. Then we have to triple our efforts to get those same students college scholarships so that they can study computer science after they graduate from high-school. Then we have to quadruple our efforts to encourage college students to participate in regional and national BDPA IT Showcase events so that they can be empowered and encouraged to get Ph.D. in computer science or other hard sciences.

BDPA can make a difference if we each do our parts. Don't you agree?

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