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Work in progress - The design and implementation of a pre-college computer science curriculum for underrepresented high school students

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2 Author(s)
Groover, T.R. ; Univ. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh ; Kabara, J.F.

In an effort to increase opportunities for under represented students to pursue 4-year Computer Science, Networking and Telecommunications degrees, the University of Pittsburgh initiated the Technology Leadership Institute (TLI). TLI is a six-week summer pre- college program for under represented high school students. Experience from the first year illustrates the need to create a culturally relevant curriculum that maps Computer Science to familiar experiences and interests. The limited classroom time with students over the summer forces the design of the curriculum to be concise and comprehensive, yet engaging. The curriculum includes basic and intermediate courses with content in Computer Programming, Web Design, Computer Systems, and Mathematics. This work in progress describes the preliminary design and implementation processes and focuses on what should be taught and to a lesser degree the pedagogy. TLI provides an avenue for students to learn about the vast scope of Computer Science, educational and career opportunities, in addition to obtaining transferable knowledge and skills. The curriculum is assessed by an external evaluation team that will collect, analyze and report student-identified competency, student perceptions and interests, as well as actual achievement levels. Results from this study will be useful in curriculum development of Computer Science courses at the K-12 level, as well as providing strategies to underrepresented groups to explore computer science.

Published in:

Frontiers In Education Conference - Global Engineering: Knowledge Without Borders, Opportunities Without Passports, 2007. FIE '07. 37th Annual

Date of Conference:

10-13 Oct. 2007