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ERIC Number: EJ1419723
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2024
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
EISSN: EISSN-1946-6226
The Impact of a Community of Practice Scholarship Program on Students' Computing Identity
While computing programs in the U.S. are experiencing growth in enrollment trends, they are still grappling with matters related to retention and persistence of computing undergraduates. One construct identified by scholars as having an impact on persistence in computing is computing identity, which is shaped by constructs such as recognition, performance/competence beliefs, sense of belonging, and interest. Likewise, participation in what scholars call communities of practice (CoPs) can aid in the development of their computing identity. To help foster computing identity development, an initiative was designed at three large public universities named Flit-Path (Florida IT Pathways to Success). Flit-Path was established using the principles inherent to communities of practice with the goal of recruiting and retaining computing students. The Flit-Path program leveraged curricular and co-curricular support to engage academically talented students with financial need in computing disciplines (e.g., computer engineering, computer science, and information technology) and provided financial assistance via scholarships. The guiding research question for this study was, What is the impact of a computing community of practice (the Flit-Path program) on students' computing identity, specifically the constructs of recognition, performance/competence, sense of belonging, and interest? In order to address this question, a validated survey instrument was used to compare 64 computing students who enrolled in the Flit-Path program with students from the same universities with matched years in college, computing GPA, race/ethnicity, gender, home/environment support, and work hours outside the home. For comparing the two groups, the research team used multivariate matching methods in R. The results of the study revealed that students in the Flit-Path program demonstrated substantially higher computing identities. Students who participated in the Flit-Path program experienced higher recognition, performance/competence, and sense of belonging in the computing field than their non-Flit-Path counterparts. There was also a borderline positive effect for interest. Together, the results indicate that well-designed CoP interventions in computing programs can have a significant effect on students' identification with computing and ultimately their persistence.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A