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ERIC Number: ED549742
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 125
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2673-0520-6
Hispanic Women Overcoming Deterrents to Computer Science: A Phenomenological Study
Herling, Lourdes
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of South Dakota
The products of computer science are important to all aspects of society and are tools in the solution of the world's problems. It is, therefore, troubling that the United States faces a shortage in qualified graduates in computer science. The number of women and minorities in computer science is significantly lower than the percentage of the U.S. population which they represent. The overall enrollment in computer science programs has continued to decline with the enrollment of women declining at a higher rate than that of men. This study addressed three aspects of underrepresentation about which there has been little previous research: addressing computing disciplines specifically rather than embedding them within the STEM disciplines, what attracts women and minorities to computer science, and addressing the issues of race/ethnicity and gender in conjunction rather than in isolation. Since women of underrepresented ethnicities are more severely underrepresented than women in general, it is important to consider whether race and ethnicity play a role in addition to gender as has been suggested by previous research. Therefore, this study examined what attracted Hispanic women to computer science specifically. The study determines whether being subjected to multiple marginalizations--female and Hispanic--played a role in the experiences of Hispanic women currently in computer science. The study found five emergent themes within the experiences of Hispanic women in computer science. Encouragement and role models strongly influenced not only the participants' choice to major in the field, but to persist as well. Most of the participants experienced a negative atmosphere and feelings of not fitting in while in college and industry. The interdisciplinary nature of computer science was the most common aspect that attracted the participants to computer science. The aptitudes participants commonly believed are needed for success in computer science are the Twenty-First Century skills problem solving, creativity, and critical thinking. While not all the participants had experience with computers or programming prior to attending college, experience played a role in the self-confidence of those who did. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A