Generation CS: The Challenges of and Responses to the Enrollment Surge
non-doctoral-granting units have not explored some of the ac-
tions that doctoral-granting units have already implemented.
There is a great deal of research (e.g., [ 5]) that discusses how
actions taken by a department (e.g., to manage access to courses
or a major) have an impact on diversity. For an in-depth discussion about diversity, see [ 2]. In conclusion, units should think
carefully about the impact of their actions to manage students’
access to CS courses.
The responses to the CRA Enrollment Survey clearly show
MANAGING STUDENTS’ ACCESS TO COURSES
that both doctoral- and non-doctoral-granting units are ex-
periencing significant increases in undergraduate course en-
rollments. Classroom space shortages, insufficient numbers of
faculty and instructors to teach courses, and increased fac-
ulty workloads are among the top problems and concerns at
both doctoral-granting and non-doctoral-granting units. On
the positive side, the CRA Enrollment Survey found that ap-
proximately 88% of both doctoral- and non-doctoral-granting
respondents believe that student retention is level or increas-
ing overall. Also, approximately 40% of respondents believe
student performance has not been adversely affected so far.
On the other hand, more than one-third of the units reported
concerns that student performance is declining. Many units
service workloads, providing additional compensation, giving
more credit for teaching in annual performance reviews, or
training faculty in scalable class management. Lastly, we note
that non-doctoral-granting units were more likely to respond
with “Like to, but can’t” than doctoral-granting units.
Figures 8(a) and 8(b) show responses to five questions related
to restricting admission to the major and limiting enrollment
in courses. Close to 50% of both doctoral- and non-doctor-
al-granting units limit enrollments in high-demand courses.
More than one-third of both doctoral- and non-doctoral-grant-
ing units also advise less successful students to leave the major.
Doctoral-granting units are more likely to require that students
are a major or minor to enroll in an advanced course, i.e., 45%
of doctoral-granting units have put restrictions on non-ma-
jors/minors to enroll in advanced courses while only 16% of
non-doctoral-granting units have done this.
Doctoral-granting units are also more likely than non-doc-
toral-granting units to tighten requirements for their major
(27% vs. 7%), e.g., one way to control the number of students is
by controlling admissions. Almost 40% of doctoral- and almost
30% of non-doctoral-granting units report that they could not
or rejected the idea of tightening requirements for entering the
major. Lastly, the responses shown in Figure 8(b) suggest that
(a) Doctoral-Granting Units
(b) Non-Doctoral-Granting Units
Figure 8: Actions taken to manage access to courses or major.