Course content as a tool of inclusivity for black/african-american women in computing

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges

Publication Date


Date Added



Promoting inclusion and increasing the representation of women in the field of Computer Science (CS) has been an ongoing initiative. When it comes to Black/African-American (AA) women, their under-representation in CS is even more disproportionate. CS is ever-evolving, but its ability to be perceived as a field with a breadth of spaces that reflects its potential to be inclusive-to-all has been a continuing challenge. Using course content to provide spaces for under-represented groups, like Black/AA women, to express their personal interests as they develop their computational competencies can help in addressing such potential in CS. This article discusses a two-year study conducted on 51 Black-/AA female students enrolled in an introductory and/or intermediate CS course at a historically black university in the mid-Atlantic United States. A final project was administered in both courses to allow these students to choose their own original problem to solve while showcasing their learned computational knowledge and developed programming competencies. The results revealed that 93% of the project topics chosen by these students exhibited people-centered orientations in nature. Furthermore, these outcomes reflect the potential nature for CS to be a field that can provide a breadth of spaces that reflect one’s interest while also promoting inclusion.


Technology, Economic Advancement


Computer Sciences