Once students have their first experience with computer science (CS), how do we keep them engaged so that they will continue to pursue CS, particularly at the undergraduate level? This year, 53 CS faculty and instructors from colleges and universities in 24 U.S. states will implement classroom-based programs and solutions to help them answer that question as part of the Google CS Engagement Small Awards program. Each award – an unrestricted gift of $5,000 to the award recipients’ institution – will be used by the faculty members and instructors teaching introductory (CS1 and CS2) courses to identify and implement solutions for increasing student engagement and reaching retention goals within their own classrooms.

At Google, we believe in the importance of preparing the next generation of computer scientists. We’ve created and supported the development and implementation of numerous CS education programs and resources on the basis of research that links persistence in CS studies with engaging and personally relevant learning experiences.

To help faculty and instructors identify engaging and relevant Open Educational Resources (OER) for their introductory undergraduate CS courses – and in partnership with the National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT) – we created EngageCSEdu. This collection of high-quality instructional materials contains 1,400+ assignments, labs, and projects that any faculty member can use to identify and implement activities containing pedagogical practices and strategies (Engagement Practices) that increase student engagement and retention.

EngageCSEdu is a great way for recipients of the Google CS Engagement Small Award program to identify, modify, and share the activities, projects, and labs they’ll create to engage their students. Google has selected the following faculty and instructors to receive a CS Engagement Small Award:

  • Jim Conrad – Boise State University 
  • Jadwiga Carlson – Bowling Green State University 
  • John Clements, Michael Haungs, Zachary Peterson, Zoe Wood – California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo 
  • Carl Kingsford – Carnegie Mellon University 
  • Chris Starr – College of Charleston 
  • Matthew Whitehead – Colorado College 
  • Lonnie Bowe – Concord University 
  • Kathleen Tamerlano – Cuyahoga Community College 
  • Keith Tookey – Eureka College 
  • Lee Spector – Hampshire College 
  • Sean Joyce – Heidelberg University 
  • Debra Duke – J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College 
  • Juan Jenny Li – Kean University 
  • Peter Drake – Lewis & Clark College 
  • Richard Enbody – Michigan State University 
  • Leo Ureel – Michigan Technological University 
  • Ben Coleman – Moravian College 
  • Heather Pon-Barry – Mount Holyoke College
  • Clif Kussmaul – Muhlenberg College 
  • Sarah Heckman – North Carolina State University 
  • Jennifer Parham-Mocello – Oregon State University 
  • Adam Groce, Jim Fix – Reed College 
  • Florence Appel – Saint Xavier 
  • Natalie Linnell – Santa Clara University 
  • Cheryl Calhoun – Santa Fe College 
  • Dominique Thiebaut – Smith College 
  • Ravi Gandham – South Seattle College 
  • Winnie Yu, Lisa Lancor – Southern Connecticut State University 
  • Barbara Anthony – Southwestern University 
  • Lindsay Jamieson – St. Mary's College of Maryland 
  • Sen Zhang – SUNY Oneonta 
  • Cynthia Marcello – SUNY Sullivan 
  • Thomas Gibbons, Jennifer Rosato – The College of St. Scholastica 
  • Martine Ceberio – The University of Texas at El Paso 
  • Anastasia Kurdia – Tulane University 
  • John Lusth – University of Alabama 
  • Michael Ball – University of California, Berkeley 
  • Adam Koehler – University of California, Riverside 
  • Mark Heinrich – University of Central Florida 
  • Victor Milenkovic – University of Miami 
  • Kate Lockwood – University of St. Thomas 
  • Rob Nash – University of Washington, Bothell 
  • William Turkett – Wake Forest University 
  • Richard Fry – Weber State University 
  • Zijiang Yang – Western Michigan University 
  • Helen Hu – Westminster College 
  • Mark D. LeBlanc – Wheaton College (Norton, MA) 

We’re proud to support the efforts of these innovative instructors as they strive to create an engaging and relevant learning experience for all students.