Must see: Shift Happens

This takes a few minutes to watch, but it's well worth it given our discussion at the CPATH meeting.

Dan Francisco

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Comments from Bernard Gibson

The size may not matter as much as how the sub-groups are organized and who can handle them effectively. You will need to use all resources available if the groups (combined) have more than 50 people. How are the groups going to be divided for maximum effectiveness?

1) Large firms
2) Small to medium corporations
3) Local and state government
4) Education
5) Entrepreneurs
6) Chamber of Commerce or entity

Personal invitation
Interview Process – through a “Chamber” – like group

The current method appears to be effective, to be seen as to staying power and sustainability
Also may include a monthly teleconference or CCCConfer Call

Strategic Initiatives
Tactical Execution
How in-depth do we need to go
Definition of terms
Community College – Community – Business – how do we pull these resources together - quickly

Exactly what we are going to deliver upon
A successful instructional model for multi-institution, multi-sector and multi-disciplinary collaboration and strategies to revitalize undergraduate computing education in the Sacramento region. (from the project summary)

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Comments from Dan Ross

What is the optimal size of this group?
Here’s a guess: A core of maybe around 20 with maybe an “extended group” of maybe up to 100. My biggest concern is that the agenda not be dominated by “offhand” or “casual observations” or “the latest anecdotal evidence”, or the person who talks the loudest.

Who should be represented?
Most people work for small to medium sized companies. So they should be represented. The problem here is that it is often that many of these companies are unwilling to participate due many issues such as:

1) Limited resources – they don’t have the man-hours to spend on this – the one or two people who could come to these kinds of things tend to be busy running the company.
2) They tend to be focused on much shorter-term goals – like shipping their product before next Tuesday, not building a pipeline years out.
3) The “what’s in it for me” factor can be lacking. Sometimes these individuals in their capacity within their organizations have less to gain personally from these types of meetings.
4) Even if we do get more varied representation, is will still be a small sample. So maybe what is important here is to have awareness within the group that there are stakeholders that are not present, and get them to consider this.

What are the critical issues for discussion?
Potential issue 1: The ICER report
The ICER Northwest report makes some excellent comments. Maybe we could devote blocks of time to discussing each one of their 5 recommendations (aka “Strategic Initiatives”). Some may warrant more time than others, for example, ICER Recommendation 1c may be particularly relevant to this exercise. Maybe doing this first may help the group decide how to spend the rest of the time.

Potential issue 2: Dissecting the term “computing”.
The grant may use this term deliberately so as to not limit scope or predefine any particular outcome. However, “computing” is a vast and varied field of study, which means different things to different people. Thus, it may promote better communication if some time was spent on a taxonomy of terms related to computing subdisciplines, and/or professions/skills.

Potential issue 3: The role of the community college.
1) 2-years is not a long time to teach something in-depth. Should we try to develop or influence 4 year curriculum of which we would teach the first 2 years as community colleges have traditionally done?

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First Advisory Board Meeting 8.20.07

CPATH Advisory Board Meeting
Aug 20, 2007
In attendance: Barry Brown, Walter Di Mantova, Sandy Feder, Dan Francisco, Bernard Gibson, Gary Hartley, Pat Hogarty, Marc Olsen, Jason Pittman, Dan Ross, Phil Sandoval, Linda Santoro, John Shirley, Phil Tierney, Stu Van Horn, Du Zhang

Meeting Summary

1. Stu Van Horn welcomed visitors to FLC and gave a summary of the CISE CPATH Grant, explaining that it is not unlike the recent Earmark Grant, which resulted in forty-eight course outlines, sixteen new program areas, and generated college growth. CPATH replaces Earmark with its important focus on undergraduate Computing Education. The goal is to see more enrollment in computing fields and to prepare workers for the needs of the workplace.

2. Gary Hartley explained that the grant proposes four deliverables:
a. Creating a mechanism by which people can talk across industries, continuing dialogue to learn each other’s perspectives.
b. Creating an advisory board to guide the project. Setting dates for meetings is “job one.”
c. Producing a symposium similar to STEM, Convergence, etc.
d. Developing an implementation grant proposal.

3. A copy of the ICER Report from January of 2006 will be emailed to Board.
a. High correlation between success in the economy and a workforce that is well prepared for the needs of the industry.
b. Although demand for employees rises, enrollment in computer information science classes has been declining.
c. See questions at the end of this record.
d. Need articles or white papers that apply to our goals.
e. Steering committee will be Du Zhang, John Shirley, Stu Van Horn, Gary Hartley, and Linda Santoro.

4. Stu explained importance of collaboration between business partners and educational members of Advisory Board, and the obligations and guidelines for the grant and referred members to the second paragraph of the grant summary.

Summaries of current situation from the educators:

  • LRCCD: general downtrend on all campus locations.

  • Networking classes are well enrolled but programming classes start with one hundred and then finish much lower. Web courses are relatively strong, but down to 1/3 the enrollment of prior strong years. Applications courses: interest remains high. 40% of students leave after initial start

  • Sierra College has ½ to 1/3 enrollment today compared to 2002. CIS area down in enrollment, online classes fill, not on ground. High attrition rate in upper level courses.

  • In 2001 there were 6 fulltime instructors at FLC, but now 3 FT; database certificate losing interest.

  • Nationwide there is a dip in enrollment in CIS classes. An ACM study regarding offshore jobs casts a negative light on the job situation.

  • New jobs are being created in the area of computer games, animation, and security, which cannot easily be filled off shore.

  • Height of CSUS enrollment was 1000, but currently is 500, of which 140 are graduate level

  • Today’s high school students are not interested in STEM disciplines

  • No celebrity as a spokesperson for the Computer Science industry. Nationwide study commissioned by NSF “Rising above the Gathering Storm”. (see link)

  • Need to get elementary and secondary faculty to join this group.
    Real Estate programs are doing well. Students can do their own web sites.

Industry Participant Comments:

  • Intel, Micron and other companies are all involved to get students interested in STEM.

  • Game industry is bigger than movies and music combined.

  • Schools should partner with the industry for successful outreach to students

  • Intel and others go offshore because the US is not producing enough workers.

  • Factories are not built here because it costs too much.

  • USA not producing enough competent workers.

  • Industry needs to tell Community Colleges what their needs are.

5. Stu gave brief overview of initiatives, groups, and educational collaborations in the region. Suggests combining multiple boards instead of duplicating efforts.

6. Next Advisory Board meeting to be early September. Proposed seminar dates (separate and distinct from Advisory Board Meetings):
a. Monthly from September 2007 through May 2008
b.Purpose of the interdisciplinary seminars is crosstalk to discuss why there isn’t more of a fit between industry needs and courses being offered.
c.It will not necessary to have the same people in the room for each seminar. Advisory board members are asked to forward names for the appropriate attendees for the seminars.
d. Next advisory board meeting recommended to take place before Sept 21.
e.Marketing strategy: advise students that those who complete degrees in the computer science area will be employed immediately!
f. Need to define a model for handling the lack of student enrollment in the CIS discipline.

Questions to consider:
1. What is the feedback from students?
2. Why aren’t we getting the attention of students for these disciplines?
3. How can we get their attention?
4. How can we communicate that a viable living can be made, portable anywhere in the world?
5. Where are we headed with our curriculum?
6. 40% of students leave after initial start; once we get them, how do we keep them?
7. What is the feedback from students? Do they think that jobs don’t exist?
8. Is there a mechanism to reach down into the lower grade levels to interest students earlier in their educational careers?

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Hello, and welcome to the Folsom Lake College/Sacramento State University CPATH project BLOG. This medium of communication is intended for project participants to share their thoughts and ideas among the community of other participants, with a view to furthering the networking and building of intellectual capital for which the project exists.

Here you will find links to relevant documents, including meeting minutes, responses from other participants, and the grant itself. Please feel free to comment on these, as well as to upload your own contributions (e.g., original pieces, web links, research articles). Have fun here, and be sure to send us your feedback!

“This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0722172. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).”