In the rapidly advancing world of computer science (CS) and information and communications technology (ICT) it is imperative that institutions maintain the cutting edge programs required to be effective and that students have come to expect. Is a failure of institutions to “keep up” to blame for problematic student persistence and shortages of qualified CS and ICT professionals? The way students perceive the learning process and their choice of careers in the technology field is dramatically changing. (Kolikant and Ben-Ari 2008) described the concept of fertile zones of cultural encounter (FZCEs) as a pedagogical model to resolve a clash between a students’ culture as a computer user and the professional computing culture found at most institutions of higher learning. This culture clash is having an effect on student persistence in CS and ICT programs as students demand cutting edge skills and innovative teaching practices or they may delegitimize learning opportunities offered in a traditional setting. A spate of empirical studies testing the properties of various models of student persistence has been published, but relatively few are programmatic and helpful to decision makers (Hossler et al. 2008). There is a lack of existing literature on student perceptions of CS and ICT program attributes and their relationship to persistence. This study is a holistic examination of student perceptions of CS and ICT program quality, the profession, ways in which they best gain knowledge in their courses, and the effect of these perceptions on persistence in their program.
|Keywords:||Technology Student Persistence, STEM Program Persistence|
Assistant Professor, Information Technology Department Chair, Wilkes University, LaPlume, Pennsylvania, USA
Assistant Professor, Education, Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA
Assistant Professor, Health Administration and Human Resources, University of Scranton, Scranton, PA, USA