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How to retain and encourage female and minority students

1) Show them how computing can help people. Seeís-personal-assistant.html,,, Have your students work with younger students to teach them something.
2) Show them how interesting, creative, and social computing can be. Do open-ended projects that encourage creativity. Do pair programming. Have students show off what they create.
3) Encourage the females. Our survey of females in computing classes showed that encouragement was more predictive than ability for females. Female students that drop out of computing often have better grades than the guys who stay. Have your students apply for the NCWIT aspiration awards in the fall. Make a big deal of out it if they win.
4) Get their parent's support for a computing career. Do a family night and have the students teach their families something or show off their work. Talk to the parents about careers in computing.
5) Bring in near peer role models. If you have alumna then use them. Use the dot diva website - Use the NCWIT aspiration award website -
6) Explain how the concepts they are using are useful in the "real" world. Do short discussions of computing in the news. Use the ACM news and CS 4 Fun
7) Make connections with things the women are interested in like biology, medicine, law, education, etc. Ask your students what they are interested in.
8) Use things like Scratch and Alice where the women can tell stories.
9) Pair women up (don't force them to work with guys if they don't want to).
10) Keep track of people or teams you have called on and give each person an equal chance to respond. Don't allow people to yell out answers. Have people discuss things in groups and then call on groups to respond.
11) Don't let the guys create a culture in the room that isn't appealing to girls. Don't let guys show-off or act like they know all the answers. Put up posters that show women in computing. Highlight females and minorities in computing. You can ask the students to read about people and do a short report on them.
12) Do a "flipped" classroom. Have students do readings or watch videos outside of class and in class do hands-on activities and ask questions and have groups discuss the answers.
13) Have extra time and help for people that are behind. Create a "breakfast" or "lunch" club and invite the people that are behind to it. Make the invitations look cool.
14) Allow people to revise their work to improve their grade.
15) Give out lots of small examples of working code. You can give a different example to each group and have them type it in and describe what it does to the class. Then have them modify the code in some way.
16) Have students practice finding compile time errors and fixing them.
17) Have students write up their story 5 years from now. What job do they have in computing and how did they get there?

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