What Motivates Native Computer Science Students?

Christina B. Silva, Dr. Nuria Jaumot-Pascual, Dr. Maria Ong, and Dr. Kathy DeerInWater
Winds of Change, Spring 2021, aises.org


A New Study Looks at How Giving Back Helps Undergraduates Stick with a Challenging Major

As opportunities in technology expand, more Native students are pursuing careers in computer science (CS). According to the NSF, Indigenous people, especially those who identify as Native women and two-spirit individuals, and currently underrepresented in the field. To understand what promotes – and what hinders – persistence in undergraduate CS programs, a team from AISES and TERC, a nonprofit focused on promoting equal access to STEM learning opportunities, conducted research. Their project included interviews with eight Native computer science students, seven women and one two-spirit man. Researchers from TERC were Dr. Nuria Jaumot-Pascual, Dr. Maria Ong, and Christina B. Silva; Dr. Kathy DeerInWater was the team member from AISES.