Recording available at: https://mediaspace.illinois.edu/media/t/1_gb8jx23m/83215181
Efforts to address the faculty shortage in computing disciplines and to diversify the tech workforce are hindered by high rates of doctoral student attrition. Yet, little is known about students’ consideration of departure - an important psychological precursor to their decision to stay or leave. In this talk, I will discuss findings from my mixed-methods dissertation research which investigated students’ consideration of departure from both student and faculty perspectives. I draw attention to the mechanisms and interactions that threaten and support doctoral student persistence, particularly for students from groups underrepresented in computing. Evidence from both students and faculty suggests that the departmental environment and relationships with others (e.g., faculty and peers) have a strong influence on doctoral students’ persistence, particularly in shaping students’ beliefs about themselves and their abilities. Additionally, I explored the role faculty believe they have in shaping student experiences and outcomes. In discussing relevant findings, I will illuminate opportunities for computing faculty and departments to examine their interpersonal and organizational practices to broaden participation in computing. I will conclude with future directions for my research.
Dr. Kari George is currently serving as a Computing Innovation Postdoctoral Fellow, working with Dr. Colleen Lewis. She recently earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education and Organizational Change from UCLA. Dr. George’s research examines undergraduate and graduate computing, including students’ interactions with faculty, classroom and departmental environments, and college outcomes. She previously served as the Senior Data Manager for BRAID (Building, Recruiting, and Inclusion for Diversity) Research, a mixed-methods longitudinal study of diversity efforts and progress to increase gender and racial/ethnic diversity in undergraduate computing programs at fifteen universities across the U.S. Dr. George’s research agenda is informed by her prior professional experience in student affairs, technology project management, and consulting.
Faculty Host: Colleen Lewis