Upward Mobility for Underrepresented Students: A Model for a Cohort-based Bachelor’s Degree in
Transfer and graduation rates. CSin3 enrolled its first cohort
in fall 2013, and has enrolled another cohort in each year since.
Eighty-five percent (87 out of 102) of CSin3 students transferred to CSUMB after 18 months. Seventy-one percent ( 46 of
64) of CSin3 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 3
years. From the first cohort, 79% graduated in 3. 5 years.
CSin3 has had a significant impact on the demographic
composition of computer science graduates from CSUMB. Prior to launching CSin3 in 2012, CSUMB produced 1/34 of all
Hispanic CS graduates from across the CSU system and 1/30
of all female CS graduates. As of May 2017, CSUMB produced
1/10 of all Hispanic CS graduates and 1/13 of female CS graduates across the entire CSU system of 23 campuses and over
Job and Internship positions. Of the 46 CSin3 students
who graduated in three years (from the first two cohorts), 36
(78%) had secured gainful employment in the technology industry within two months of graduation. Employers include
Apple, BlackRock, CIG, Driscoll’s, Dolby, iFoodDecisions,
HeavyConnect, HumRRo, JPMorgan Chase, Kibo, Liberty Mutual, Lyft, Panafold, Red Teal, Salesforce, SSCS, NBC Universal,
Uber, and Verizon.
Three cohorts have participated in internships. Internship
preparation activities have benefited not only CSin3 students,
For CSin3 students, completing an internship over the sec-
ond summer is a requirement of the program. This looming in-
ternship requirement sets real-world expectations, and while
daunting, gives students a clear goal, motivation for career prep
like resume building, and an authentic reason why coursework
(both in and out of computer science) is important. To meet
the deadlines of major technology companies, students must
be ready to apply for internships in the fall of their second year.
CSin3 students’ association with a four-year university and
their in-progress plan for earning a bachelor’s degree is often
considered a positive by these companies. Students who are not
successful with the initial round of applications typically apply
to smaller or local companies and/or research experiences in
the spring semester.
Unlike some college internship programs, CSin3 students
do not have guaranteed placements, although faculty often
help connect CSin3 and other CSUMB students with employers. Students’ success at obtaining internships and the feedback
from their employers is a valuable feedback mechanism for
CSin3 faculty and staff.
CSin3 students, along with other CSUMB computing students, present posters about their summer internship work at
a symposium in the first week of each fall semester. This event
helps sustain connections with industry, is an opportunity to
invite recruiters to campus, and inspires other CSUMB computing students to begin thinking about internships early in
their college careers.
Table 1: Weekly schedule for CSin3 students’ first semester (sample, Fall
2015). Bolded activities take place at CSUMB.