The University of South Carolina is one of fifteen schools to be selected by the Building Recruiting And Inclusion for Diversity (BRAID) initiative to work with the computer science and engineering department to increase the percentage of their undergraduate majors who are female and minorities.
Under BRAID, the fifteen academic institutions’ computer science departments have committed to implementing a number of approaches that have demonstrated success at Harvey Mudd College, a liberal arts school specializing in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and multiple other institutions.
“This is the best professional opportunity for our female computing students that we have had in the forty years that I have been with the Computer Science program,” said Manton Matthews, Chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. “Our efforts will clearly demonstrate to our students that there is no reason they cannot be leaders in the field of computer science.”
According to Matthews, the University is already working to make improvements in areas they believe will attract more female and minority students. The school will be revamping introductory courses; focusing on multidiscipline efforts, including supporting double majors; building community and confidence and outreach to high school students.
The participating universities will provide data for a research study documenting the progress made across departments. In addition, each of the departments will receive $30,000 a year for three years to help support their efforts.