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Harvey-Mudd Has Done What Many Have Failed To Do

  • September 08, 2016|
  • 2 years ago

by Oliver Staley


Article excerpt

Harvey Mudd College took on gender bias and now more than half its computer-science majors are women

Harvey Mudd College, in Claremont, California, has been an outlier in producing female programmers for a decade. This year, for the first time, more women than men graduated with a degree in computer science.

Our take

Paving the Way for More Female STEM Graduates

A small college in California, Harvey Mudd, has done what many others have failed to do—graduate a high percentage of female students in computer science programs. In fact, this year women outpaced men, with 55 percent of the school’s graduates being female (compared to a national average of 16 percent). What best practices could you adopt based on their success?

This school has done a number of things differently from others, including placing preference on teaching vs. research when hiring teachers, and rewarding teachers for classroom performance. There are classroom culture differences as well. Professors are encouraged to manage the behavior of the most talkative/confident students outside of the classroom setting so less confident students may feel less intimidated. Harvey Mudd’s results demonstrate that there is plenty of opportunity to move the needle to a more equal balance of male and female STEM graduates.