Santa Fe College Information Technology professors Cheryl Calhoun and Elizabeth Drake recently received a $5,000 award from Google for their winning submission to Google’s small grants program for engagement and retention in introductory computer science classes.
“The Google CS Engagement award is designed to support our efforts to recruit and retain a more diverse student population in our information technology courses. We are encouraged to use the materials provided by NCWIT and Google as part of the EngageCSEdu project,” Calhoun said in an email.
With the goal to establish a more diverse computing workforce, Google, in collaboration the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), presents monetary awards to educators for engagement and retention of women and other underrepresented groups in computer science courses.
Educators from across the nation contribute to EngageCSEdu, which is a collection of open course materials for introductory computer science courses. According to Google’s EngageCSEdu team, many things influence retention in computer science education, but having a great experience in introductory courses is key.
“We will use the award to develop inclusive curriculum for our new Computer Concepts course. This course is designed to give students an overview of computer science, technology and careers that use computer technology,” said Calhoun. “This is a great course for every Santa Fe College student to take!”