Grant aims to increase Latinos studying computer sciencecsudhbulletin October 19, 2016 0 COMMENTS
By Marco Negrete
Cal State Dominguez Hills and six other campuses have received three grants from the National Science Foundation for $2.5 million because of their success in increasing the number of Latino and underserved students studying computer science.
“The grants help increase the number of Hispanic students who enter the computing workforce with advanced degrees,” said Professor Mohsen Beheshti, chair of CSUDH’s Computer Science Department. “It also supports the retention and advancements of Hispanic students and faculty in computing, developing and sustaining competitive education and research programs in computing.”
The leading grant is the “Computing Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institutions (CAHSI),” which is a five-year, $2 million award.
“Since 2004, when CAHSI was first established, initiatives and practices continue to be essential elements for support through practices that actively engage students in learning experiences,” said Beheshti.
CAHSI initiatives include CS0, which targets incoming freshman who haven’t had much exposure to computer science.
Other initiatives include Peer-Led-Team Learning, Affinity Research Group, Mentor-Grad, which engages Latina undergraduates in experiences and activities that prepare them for success in graduate studies.
CSUDH and the other six institutions also received two “NSF INCLUDES” grants. These are the $300,000 “Building upon CAHSI’s Success to Establish a Networked Community for Broadening Participation of Hispanics in Graduate Studies” award, and the $200,000 “Conference to Advance the Collective Impact of Retention and Continuation Strategies for Hispanics and Other Underrepresented Minorities in STEM Fields” grant.
“The long-term goal of our ‘INCLUDES’ project is to establish a networked community and strategic partnership across the Southwest region of the U.S. that scales and grows practices leading to equity in the number of Hispanics who enter and complete STEM graduate studies,” said Beheshti.
The “Conference to Advance the Collective Impact of Retention and Continuation Strategies for Hispanics and Other Underrepresented Minorities in STEM Fields” grant allows the alliance to bring researchers, industry representatives, members of professional societies and educators for a series of conferences.
“The purpose of the meetings is to convene thought leaders from non-profit, government entitles, corporations and higher education who share a commitment to broadening participation,” said Beheshti, “and as a collective voice commit to a common agenda, goals, and objective.”
On Jan 11-12, the alliance will host its first conference, in Palo Alto.