Mandatory Programming Class Increases Computer Science Diversity at Harvey Mudd
Across the U.S., 84 percent of undergraduate computer science students are male, but at Harvey Mudd College, 55 percent of the most recent CS graduates are female. It has achieved those impressive statistics by requiring students to take a mandatory programming class and by revamping the curriculum to make it more fun. “It no longer felt like an intimidating subject,” said Veronica Rivera, who became a CS major after enjoying the mandatory class. “It felt like something that I could learn, that I could really do, even though I hadn’t done any of it in the past.”
Several other colleges and universities are adopting Harvey Mudd's curriculum in an effort to improve the number of women students graduating from their computer science programs.