An ad hoc committee will examine potential responses to the current large influx of undergraduate students enrolling in computing and computer science (CS) courses in 4-year institutions. This study will investigate the following:
- Current and projected patterns of enrollment in undergraduate courses in computer science, computer engineering (CE), and information (within undergraduate information schools), including an analysis of the factors that have driven recent growth and may drive future growth. Data will be disaggregated by type of 4-year institution (e.g., top 50, R-1). The study will include an analysis of enrollment patterns among CS/CE/information majors and minors and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and non-STEM majors taking service courses offered by CS/CE/information departments or enrolling in CS/CE/information courses on an elective basis. A primary goal of this effort is to determine whether the recent increases in enrollment are similar to other cyclic fluctuations that have occurred in the past or whether they are more likely to be sustained.
- Strategies that various institutions are using to respond most effectively to enrollment growth while maintaining or enhancing course access as well as the quality of instruction, considered by type of college or university. The study will examine the impacts those strategies are having on CS/CE/information departments in terms of, for example, faculty and graduate student hiring and workload (including non-CS faculty), student retention, and support for the needs of different categories of students (such as non-CS majors, CS minors, STEM majors, and non-STEM majors).
- The impact of enrollment growth on efforts to increase the enrollment of women and underrepresented minorities in CS/CE/information courses and degree programs, as well as on strategies for retaining those students in the CS/CE/information field and encouraging their pathways toward graduate degrees and careers in related fields.
The committee will produce a report with findings and recommendations, as well as questions for additional research.