Removing a Barrier: Analysis of the Impact of Removing Calculus and Physics from CS on Employability, Salary, and Broadening Participation Conference

Ross, M, Weiss, MA, Minaya, L et al. (2022). Removing a Barrier: Analysis of the Impact of Removing Calculus and Physics from CS on Employability, Salary, and Broadening Participation . 1 460-466. 10.1145/3478431.3499356

cited authors

  • Ross, M; Weiss, MA; Minaya, L; Laginess, A; Patel, D; Quardokus Fisher, K

abstract

  • This study was designed to compare salary implications and employability of students who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science (BACS)-primarily distinguished by the removal of calculus and physics requirements from the traditional computer science curriculum versus those that graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (BSCS). Given the numerous studies that identify gateway courses like calculus and physics as impediments to students' persistence in engineering and computer science AND their impact on women and people of color, the removal of this barrier has incredible potential for broadening participation in computing. One university's first cohort of BACS graduates (spring 2020) furnished a unique opportunity to compare student's self-reported employment and salary information to their BSCS peers. The study consisted of institutional data and a survey targeting spring 2020, summer 2020, fall 2020 graduates from computer science, with data fromn =134 recent graduates (BAn = 45, BSn =89). Preliminary results indicate there are no statistical significance in enrollment on the basis of gender nor job attainment; however, there is a statistical significance in enrollment on the basis of race/ethnicity and pay. The results of this work could either serve as a cautionary tale for institutions considering similar programs OR it could serve as the basis for a deeper, more critical review of the requirements currently in place in BSCS programs, nationally. Are calculus and physics courses required for prosperity in computing or are they simply a barrier to equity?

publication date

  • February 22, 2022

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

International Standard Book Number (ISBN) 13

  • 9781450390705

start page

  • 460

end page

  • 466

volume

  • 1