THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN UNIT
ACTIONS AND DIVERSITY GROWTH
The CRA Enrollment Survey included several questions about
actions (e.g., train faculty in scalable class management) that
units were taking in response to the surge. In this section, we
highlight a few statistically significant correlations that relate
growth in female and URM students to unit responses (a composite3 of several different responses).
1. Units that explicitly chose actions to assist with
diversity goals have a higher percentage of female
and URM students. We observed significant positive
correlations between units that chose actions to assist with
diversity goals and the percentage of female majors in the
unit for doctoral-granting units (per Taulbee 2015, r=. 19,
n=113, p<.05), and with the percent of women in the intro
majors course at non-doctoral-granting units (r=. 43, n= 22,
p<.05). A similar correlation was found for URM students.
Non-MSI doctoral-granting units showed a statistically
significant correlation between units that chose actions to
assist with diversity goals and the increase in the percentage
of URM students from 2010 to 2015 in the intro for majors
course (r=. 47, n= 36, p<.001) and mid-level course (r=. 37,
n= 38, p<.05). Of course, units choosing actions to assist
with diversity goals are probably making many other
decisions with diversity goals in mind. Improved diversity
does not come from a single action but from a series of
them (e.g., [ 4]).
2. Units with an increase in minors have an increase in
the percentage of female students in mid- and upper-level courses. We observed a positive correlation between
female percentages in the mid- and upper-level course data
and doctoral-granting units that have seen an increase
in minors (mid-level course r=. 35, n= 51, p<.01; upper-level course r=. 30, n= 52, p<.05). We saw no statistically
significant correlation with the increased number of
minors in the URM student enrollment data. The CRA
Enrollment Survey did not collect diversity information
about minors. Thus, it is not possible to look more deeply
into this finding from the collected data. Perhaps more
women are minoring in computer science, which would
then positively impact the percentage of women in mid-and upper-level courses. However, units that reported
an increase in minors also have a higher percentage of
women majors per Taulbee enrollment data (r=. 31. n=95,
p<.01). Thus, we can’t be sure of the relative contribution
of women minors and majors to an increased percentage
of women overall in the mid- and upper-level courses. In
short, more research is needed to understand this finding.
3. Very few units specifically chose or rejected actions
due to diversity. While many units ( 46.5%) stated they
Lastly, we look at IPEDS CS degrees awarded to URMs at
public and private institutions, including MSI institutions. Fig-
ure 8 shows that the IPEDS CS rate for URMs (Black/African
American, Hispanic/Latino, and Other Underrepresented)
from 2009 to 2015 has decreased slightly at private institutions
and increased slightly at public institutions. The figure also
shows that private institutions have a greater representation of
URMs in CS than public institutions, like the representation of
women in CS discussed previously (Figure 4).
Figure 8: IPEDS data (CIP 11.0101 and 11.0701) on CS bachelor’s degrees
awarded to URMs for public (blue) and private (red) institutions.
(a) Doctoral-Granting Units.
(b) Non-Doctoral-Granting Units.
Figure 7: Median percentage of URM students in the courses surveyed
(excluding MSIs). No percentage increase is shown for non-doctoral
upper-level courses because the 2005 median was zero.
3 Composites that were used for correlations include “Any Diversity Action Taken”
and “Diversity Considered in Decisions.” Specifics of how these composites were
determined are given in the Methodology section of [ 2].