History of Sisters Rise Up 4 CS

Barbara Ericson started Sisters Rise Up 4 CS in the fall of 2014 at Georgia Tech. She based it on Rise Up 4 CS, which originally helped African-American students pass the Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science (CS) A exam, but was open to all underrepresented students as of fall 2016. That project was also started by Barbara Ericson at Georgia Tech.

Rise Up 4 CS was based on the Glitch Game Testers at Georgia Tech and on the Advanced Placement Incentive Program (APIP) program that started in Texas in 1996. For more information see ERICSON, B., ENGELMAN, S., MCKLIN, T., and TAYLOR, J.Q., 2014. Project rise up 4 CS: increasing the number of black students who pass advanced placement CS A. In Proceedings of the 45th ACM technical symposium on Computer science education (Atlanta, Georgia, USA2014), ACM, 2538937, 439-444. DOI= http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2538862.2538937 and ERICSON, B. and MCKLIN, T., 2015. Helping African American Students Pass Advanced Placement Computer Science: A Tale of Two States. In Proceedings of the RESPECT (Charlotte, NC, USA2015), IEEE.

an African-American student

Both Sisters Rise Up 4 CS and Rise Up 4 CS offer:

History of Project Rise Up 4 CS

The first cohort of Rise Up 4 CS started in January 2013 at Georgia Tech. It was only open to African American students. That year we offered participants $100 if they attended at least 4 help sessions and passed the exam with a score of 3 - 5. Students who attended at least 4 help sessions were considered to be completers.

The second cohort started in October of 2013. It was only open to African American students. That year thanks to a Google RISE award we offered participants $100 if they attended at least 6 help sessions since we started earlier and an additional $100 if they passed the exam with a score of 3 - 5. However, some students didn’t fill out the paperwork to receive the $100.

The third cohort started in October of 2014. It was only open to African American students. That year we received another Goole RISE award. We offered participants $100 if they attended at least 4 help sessions and an additional $100 if they passed the exam. Again, not every student who qualified for the $100 filled out the paperwork to receive it.

The fourth cohort started in October of 2015. It was only open to African American students. We again offered participants $100 if they attended at least 4 help sessions and an additional $100 if they passed the exam.

The fifth cohort started in October of 2016. We didn’t offer any financial incentives for completing the required number of help sessions (4) or for passing the exam. We also opened up Rise Up 4 CS to all underrepresented students. We did offer a raffle for a $150 to $200 prize if the student sent his or her score in by the end of July.

Data from the first 5 cohorts of Rise Up 4 CS at Georgia Tech:

Period Number Enrolled Number Completed Number Completers who Passed Number of Enrolled who Passed
Jan - May 2013 27 14 (52%) 9 (64%) 10 (37%) - don’t have all scores
Oct 2013 - May 2014 33 18 (55%) 7 (39%) 7 (21%) - don’t have all scores
Oct 2014 - May 2015 21 16 (76%) 5 (31%) 7 (33%)
Oct 2015 - May 2016 19 11 (58%) 7 (64%) 10 (53%)
Oct 2016 - May 2017 27 8 (30%) 4 (50%) 11 (41%)

Even students who didn’t pass the exam said that being in Rise Up increased their interest in a career in computing. Students showed positive changes in attitudes towards computing from pre to post.

Interviews and focus groups showed that the high school students valued the undergraduate students as near-peer role models, felt comfortable asking questions during the help sessions, liked coming to the in-person help sessions, and felt that they covered the AP CSA topics more in depth in the project than in their classroom. They also liked the free interactive ebook.

Results of Sisters Rise Up 4 CS

The first cohort of Sisters Rise Up 4 CS started in October of 2014 at Georgia Tech. Participants had to attend 4 help sessions to be considered as completers. Sisters Rise Up 4 CS didn’t offer any financial incentive other than entry into a raffle for a $150 to $200 prize if the student sent her score in by the end of July.

The second cohort of Sisters Rise Up 4 CS started in October of 2015 at Georgia Tech. Participants had to attend 4 help sessions to be considered as completers. Sisters Rise Up 4 CS didn’t offer any financial incentive other than entry into a raffle for a $150 to $200 prize if the student sent her score in by the end of July.

We enrolled all females from Project Rise Up into Sisters Rise Up starting in the fall of 2015. Participants had to attend 4 help sessions to be considered as completers. Sisters Rise Up 4 CS didn’t offer any financial incentive other than entry into a raffle for a $150 to $200 prize if the student sent her score in by the end of July.

Period Number Enrolled Number Completed Number Passed of Completers Number of Enrolled who Passed
Oct 2014 - May 2015 21 12 (57%) 6 (50%) 9 (43%)
Oct 2015 - May 2016 20 7 (35%) 3 (43%) 4 (20%)
Oct 2016 - May 2017 21 6 (29%) 4 (67%) 10 (48%)

Results in Other States

Thanks to generous support from Google and Oracle we have been able to run Rise Up 4 CS and Sisters Rise Up 4 CS in other states. For all of these projects students had to attend four help sessions to complete the project.

Bowie State University offered Rise Up in Maryland (MA) for African American students in the spring of 2014 and again during 2014-2015. However, due to administrative problems, they did not collect the scores for the participants from 2014-2015.

Florida International University offered Rise Up in the spring of 2015 for African American students, but didn’t get many African Americans to enroll. During the 2015-2016 academic year they allowed any underrepresented student and had mostly Hispanic students enroll. As you can see from the table below they had a high pass rate for completers.

Westminster College in Utah ran Sisters Rise Up in the spring of 2016, but didn’t get very many females to enroll or complete.

The University of Maryland, College Park ran Rise Up 4 CSA in the spring of 2017. It was open to all underrepresented students.

Notice that all of these projects had a high pass rate for completers. This data provides evidence that Rise Up and Sisters Rise Up can work in other states.

These other projects didn’t always gather the scores for all the enrolled students.

Location and Year Number Enrolled Number Completed Number Completers who Passed
MA Rise Up Spring 14 22 9 (41%) 6 (67%)
MA Rise Up 14-15 19 6 (31.6%) only gathered one score
FL Rise Up Spring 15 6 3 (50%) 3 (100%)
FL Rise Up 15-16 14 8 (57%) 7 (88%)
UT Sisters Spring 16 8 2 (25%) 2 (100%)
MA Rise Up Spring 17 30 9 (30%) 6 (67%)

History of Project Rise Up 4 CSP

In January of 2017 we started Rise Up 4 CSP at Georgia Tech to help underrepresented high school students succeed in their AP CSP course and on the exam. It has the same format as Rise Up 4 CSA with both remote and in-person help sessions.

The University of California, San Diego, also ran Rise Up 4 CSP during the spring of 2017.

Location and Year Number Enrolled Number Completed Number Completers who Passed Number of Enrolled who Passed
GA Spring 2017 19 8 (41%) 6 (75%) 11 (58%)
CA Spring 2017 7 4 (57%) 3 (75%) did not get scores from all
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