Pathways and Pipeline and the Growing Pains of Creating a Computer Science Pathway

November 18, 2023


Bodunrin O. Banwo

University of Massachusetts Boston

Steven McGee

The Learning Partnership

Randi McGee-Tekula

The Learning Partnership

Practitioners and Scholars interested in developing computer science (CS) pathways must understand the nuance lives and goals students encounter when navigating the tricky lessons of life. For many watchers of the STEM field, the underrepresentation of women and minorities serves to fortify our society’s opinion and imagination of what or who is a scientist and the risk of creating processes that fail to “tease out” ethnic minorities and women’s experiences within the larger STEM field (Alfred, Ray, & Johnson, 2019). The following research article explores four high school students’ experience with computer science programming in the Milwaukee Public School system in three focal areas (Supporting Student Imaginings, Building a solid foundation of identity and Student Scaffolding, Mentorship, and Support). The students describe how their desires, fears, family, and dreams affected how they arrived at their computer science program and how it drives their burgeoning computer science identity. Moreover, this research yielded a new framework (1) Early student opportunities, 2) Awareness of Critical Educational Junctures, 3) Building Healthy CS Identities, and 4) Celebrating, Encouraging Success and Wins. ) that we consider important when thinking about healthy and productive computer science pathways that target underrepresented persons within the STEM field.


Research Areas

Suggested Citation

Banwo, B. O., McGee, S., & McGee-Tekula, R. (2023, November 16-18). Pathways and Pipeline and the Growing Pains of Creating a Computer Science Pathway [Presentation]. Minneapolis, MN: University Council for Educational Administration annual meeting.

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