The 2019 STEM for All Video Showcase includes a video about the Douglass-SAS-DIMACS Computer Science Living-Learning Community (CS LLC). The three-minute video features several CS LLC students describing what being part of the CS LLC means to them.
The CS LLC is an immersive educational and community-building program for first-year women intending to major in computer science. Launched in 2016 as a partnership of DIMACS, Douglass Residential College (DRC), and the School of Arts and Sciences, the CS LLC is advancing its third cohort of roughly 20 students into their second year and its first cohort toward graduation in 2020.
LLC participants live in a common residence hall their first year and are provided with educational, mentoring, and community-building activities that support their progress as students and CS majors. Activities are a mix of events developed specifically for the LLC and those open to a broader audience (e.g., all students at Douglass Residential College), allowing the students to feel part of their own smaller community and the larger communities at, and beyond, Rutgers. Community bonds within the LLC are strengthened through academic experiences. In the fall of their first year, students enroll in the Douglass Residential College class Knowledge and Power required for all DRC women. In the spring, they enroll in the “house course” for the LLC, Great Ideas and Applications in Computer Science, taught by their faculty advisor. This one-credit seminar course is designed to ensure that the LLC students have a shared classroom experience and to connect some of the topics students are learning in the CS major’s introductory courses to broader applications of CS.
Mentoring for CS LLC students comes in a number of forms—from a staff program director, a faculty advisor, a graduate mentor, a peer academic leader (PAL), and students in earlier LLC cohorts. Among these, the PAL is at the front line of mentoring. The PAL is an upper-class student in a computing major that lives with the LLC participants. The PAL provides mentoring and academic support in the residence hall and serves as an immediate resource for LLC members. In the video, Ananya Prakash ’19, who served as PAL for all three LLC cohorts, describes her role as PAL and what it has meant to her own development and undergraduate experience. (Congratulations, Ananya, on your upcoming graduation and thank you for everything you have done for the CS LLC!)
Now in its fifth year, the annual Video Showcase features short videos about over 200 innovative projects aimed at improving STEM learning and teaching that have been funded by the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies. During the week-long event, researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and members of the public are invited to view the short videos, discuss them with the presenters online, and vote for their favorites. The 2019 Video Showcase is being held online May 13th -20st. (The videos will remain for viewing after the conclusion of the event.)
The theme for this year’s event is Innovations in STEM Education, emphasizing strategies to broaden participation and increase access for all; research informing STEM and CS teaching and learning; challenges and strategies in the implementation of STEM + CS programs; measuring impact of innovative programs; and partnerships fostering innovation. The videos highlight initiatives for students of all ages—kindergarten through graduate school, as well as those for adult learners.
If you’d like to learn more about the CS LLC, you can read the paper “Living-Learning Community for Women in Computer Science at Rutgers” presented at the 50th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) in February, 2019.
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R. N. Wright, S. Nadler, T. Nguyen, C. Sanchez Gomez, and H. Wright, "Living-Learning Community for Women in Computer Science at Rutgers," Proceedings of the 50th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE), 2019.