Increase Diversity in Your Computer Science Classroom
Course recruitment can be difficult in any elective subject, but it is especially challenging in a content area that has historically excluded certain groups. We have resources that can help!
We firmly believe that all high school students should take AP Computer Science Principles and have the opportunity to take AP Computer Science A so they can explore the impacts of computing on their lives and develop foundational computing skills that are essential for their future coursework and careers.
The UTeach CS curriculum is designed to be inclusive and accessible for all students — but first, students must register for a course! Teachers, counselors, administrators, and families play a critical role in encouraging students to try computer science. We have developed resources to support equitable participation in computing education through active and inclusive student recruitment strategies.
Jump to student recruitment resources:
- Posters, Articles, and Videos of CS Role Models
- Recruitment Resources from UTeach CS
- Recruitment Tips
- Resources from the College Board and NCWIT
Recruitment Resources from UTeach CS
- Recruitment Planning Guide (editable guide for creating your customized plan)
- Webinar on Active and Equitable Student Recruitment
- Micro-credential on Active and Equitable Recruitment Strategies
- Student Flyer: AP Computer Science Principles (for UTeach CSP)
- Student Flyer: AP Computer Science A (for UTeach CSA)
- Counselor Flyer: AP Computer Science Principles (for UTeach CSP)
- Counselor Flyer: AP Computer Science A (for UTeach CSA)
Want to personalize these flyers? Email us for the editable versions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are four helpful recruitment strategies, based on recommendations from the College Board and the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT):
Invite students individually. Have a personal conversation with students on a one-to-one or one-to-few basis about how CS can affect their lives and their future careers. Relate the course material to their personal interests and explain the benefits of creativity, collaboration, and computational thinking in their future endeavors.
Recruit groups of students. Students fearful of trying something new are more likely to step out of their comfort zone with a friend or group of friends. Targeting specific, existing groups in your school, such as sports teams or academic clubs, can be effective to bolster students’ confidence about taking CS together. You can also visit other classes to recruit students and bring your current CS students to share some of the fun projects they've created.
Reach out to parents. Email information about your course, distribute flyers at school-wide events, or have conversations with parents to help them understand the importance of CS in their children’s future. Explain that programming and computational thinking skills are essential for future studies and most modern careers.
Talk to counselors. AP CS Principles is an inclusive course that was purposefully designed to engage all students in computer science. Let counselors know about the minimal prerequisites and that the course will benefit both students who are new to computing and students with previous programming experience. Every student should try computing in the foundational Computer Science Principles course and any student can master the basics of programming in the more advanced Computer Science A course.
Resources from the College Board
Resources from NCWIT (National Center for Women & Information Technology)
- Toolkit for CS Recruitment: Computer Science is for Everyone
- Workbook for Actively Recruiting Girls into High School Computing Courses
- Guide to Inclusive Computer Science Education (Microsoft)
- Counselors for Computing (C4C) Resource Booklet
- 10 Ways to Engage Counselors as Allies in CS Recruitment Efforts
- 10 Ways Families Can Encourage Girls' Interest in Computing
Posters, Articles, and Videos
- #CelebratingProgress Posters (CSTA)
- #CSEverywhere Posters (CSTA)
- #CSforGood Posters (CSTA)
- #CSforSocialJustice Posters (CSTA)
- Students Create Their Own CS Hero Poster or Future Me Poster
- 7 Black Pioneers in CS Infographic
- 7 Incredible Women in Computer Engineering
- 10 Black Women Changing the Face of CS
- 18 Really Awesome Native Folks in STEM
- 24 Hispanic and Latinx Scientists and Engineers
- CS Professionals and Students with Disabilities (Access Computing)
- Encouraging Quotes from Women in STEM Posters (Microsoft)
- I Am A Scientist Posters
- Influential Hispanic People in the World of Tech - Spanish Version
- Innovative Asians and Pacific Islanders in CS Poster (#CSinSF)
- Latinx Influencers in CS Poster - Spanish version (#CSinSF)
- LGBTQ Trailblazers in CS Poster
- Mighty Women in Science Posters
- Stellar Women in Computing
- Students' STEM Stories (Beyond100K)
- TECHNOLOchicas Posters (NCWIT)
- TECHNOLOchicas Video Profiles (NCWIT)
- Women You Should Know in STEM Posters (8 languages available)
- World Changers (The University of Texas at Austin)
Have a great idea or resource for student recruitment? Suggest a resource