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Northern Arizona University

My Conference Goal:

My goals are to build community within the CISE EWF community and further assess how my work future research plans fit within this space.

My Project Goal:

Broadly, my current and future research projects explore how community college transfer serves as a mechanism to advance gender and racial equity in undergraduate and graduate computer science programs. While my other current and pending projects explore the university structures that support and/or constrain transfer student success in CS, the project that I plan to propose to CISE EWF is focused more specifically on uncovering the diverse degree and career trajectories that transfer students follow.

Project Working Title:

Divergent Transfer Trajectories in Computer Science: A Mixed Methods and Person-Centered Exploration of (In)Equity and Community College Transfer Pathways

Project Idea or Description:

This mixed methods proposal builds on studies of STEM transfer momentum (e.g., Wang, 2021) and my prior research on post-transfer CS student success to provide the first comprehensive picture of the degree trajectories followed by community college transfer students in CS majors, centering opportunities for universities to build more equitable access to CS degrees. Leveraging three years of longitudinal data from my previous work, this proposal would support four years of additional data collection, allowing me to explore student trajectories over the course of up to seven years. More specifically, I would use longitudinal surveys, student records, and ethnographic interviews to examine the following overarching research questions:
1. What trajectories do community college transfer students follow in their CS bachelor’s degree pursuits?
2. How do community college transfer students following varying degree trajectories describe and make meaning of their experiences?

How will this idea advance broadening participation in computing?

Community college transfer students represent a racially diverse and high-achieving group. Relative to other STEM majors, transfer students are also more likely to hold multiple identities that have been historically underrepresented and minoritized within CS. This mixed methods study would contribute nuance and complexity in terms of how we define and understand community college transfer student success, pushing us to define success beyond traditional metrics (e.g., degree efficiency; four- or six-year graduation rates; etc.). In doing so, this study will build a more robust knowledge base that can contribute to efforts to diversify CS.

A resource or asset that would be very valuable to add to my project:

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