Abstract: In order to stem the decline of female majors and encourage the persistence of all students in the Computer Information Systems (CIS) Department at Cal Poly Pomona (CPP), the department faculty is instituting a new course to introduce incoming freshmen and transfer students into the major. This course will incorporate the career exploration that students previously conducted in a junior level class, as well as introduce students to best practices in the computing field. Students will start to build their professional/mentor networks in this class through interaction with alumni, student clubs, presentations by professional organizations, and a hands-on networking workshop. Other in-class workshops will be conducted by a university librarian, the career center, and a blind woman who will demonstrate the importance of accessibility. Students will use social media, critique one another’s work, and work in teams and small groups. The goal of the course is to show the value of studying computer information systems and the variety in potential CIS careers. The class design is based on research about attracting students to CIS (particularly members of under-represented groups such as females and minorities), retaining females in the profession, and the positive effects of pairs programming.
Keywords: gender, information technology careers, introductory course, networking, postsecondary education, social media
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Recommended Citation: Soe, L. .., Guthrie, R., Yakura, E., Hwang, D. (2012). Designing an Introductory CIS Course to Attract and Retain Female (and Male) Students . Information Systems Education Journal, 10(4) pp 31-40. http://isedj.org/2012-10/ ISSN: 1545-679X. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of ISECON 2011)