Booming Enrollments – What is the Impact?

Published on 05/01/2015

We are in the throes of another undergraduate enrollment surge. The number of new CS/CE majors in bachelor’s programs at Taulbee departments this year has reached the peak levels seen at the end of the dot-com era. While this is better news than the opposite (declining enrollments), it is critical that the field take into account how policies and efforts to manage the enrollment surge will affect groups that are under-represented in computing. The Taulbee Survey shows a three-year increase of approximately 61 percent in undergraduate enrollment at U.S. CS departments between 2010-11 and 2013-14. We also note that the booming enrollments are not limited to doctoral granting universities. For the past two years, ACM has sponsored a survey similar to the Taulbee Survey, but which collects data from Non-doctoral granting Departments in Computing (NDC). The most recent study included data from 164 institutions representing 302 programs at the bachelor’s level. Between 2012-13 and 2013-14, these institutions saw more than a 16% increase in CS degree production and over 7% increase in total CS enrollment.

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