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  1. Monica McGill
  2. http://csedresearch.org
  3. CEO&President / Assoc Professor
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Knox College
  1. Leigh DeLyser
  2. http://www.csforall.org
  3. Executive Director
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. CSforALL
  1. Eric Snow
  2. http://linkedin.com/in/ercbsnw/
  3. Founder & Independent Research Consultant
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Evidence-Centered Research & Evaluation
  1. Stephanie Wortel-London
  2. Director of Research
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. CSforALL

JROTC-CS Impact Study

NSF Awards: 2028426

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 9-12

Cybersecurity talent is critically needed across the U.S. to ensure the protection of data related to defense, labor workforce, healthcare, financial ecosystem, and more. To address the need for more cybersecurity professionals, CSforALL (New York City Foundation for Computer Science Education) has launched a privately-funded demonstration project to include cybersecurity as a part of courses that Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) students take in high school. 

This three-year impact study will examine the ways in which the JROTC-CS experience impacts the cadets' learning of, interest in, and intent to pursue cybersecurity and CS using the Capacity, Access, Participation, and Experience (CAPE) framework. It will also examine the ways in which the JROTC-CS experience impacts the school curriculum program in Computer Science and Cybersecurity. For example, does the JROTC-CS program lead to an increase in: the number of courses in computer science and cybersecurity that are offered, awareness of inequities in these courses, additional professional development experiences for teachers, or additional students at the schools who are engaged in computer science and cybersecurity?

The results will inform adaptation of the program's design and implementation to ensure that the program provides equitable opportunities to students to learn computer science and cybersecurity. It will also contribute to our understanding of how these education experiences impact academic achievement and interest in pursuing additional courses and careers in cybersecurity and how to improve cybersecurity education in high schools.

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Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (11 posts)
  • Icon for: Monica McGill

    Monica McGill

    Lead Presenter
    CEO&President / Assoc Professor
    May 10, 2021 | 01:45 p.m.

    Welcome to our project showcase! Though our NSF grant to study the impact of the CSforALL JROTC-Computer Science (CS) project is relatively new (granted January 1, 2021), we are creating a vital foundation for our three-year research grant.

    In this presentation, we introduce you to the JROTC-CS project and its importance in bringing CS and Cybersecurity to various high schools throughout the country. The program engages JROTC instructors, guidance counselors, principals, and computer science teachers to work together to build a strong and lasting program.

    During the first few months of our grant, we've been heavily invested in uncovering what potential questions we can answer and selecting appropriate research designs needed to answer those questions. We are using the new CAPE framework for disaggregating the Capacity for schools to offer CS and Cybersecurity education, the Access they provide to CS and Cybersecurity education, student Participation in this education, and student Experiences engaging with this education. This will lead us to develop and further refine instrumentation (e.g., surveys, observations, interview protocols) for understanding how participation affects students across various demographic measures (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity, state, school socio-economic status, etc.). 

    We welcome your questions and comments on our work so far.

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Eric Snow
  • Icon for: Heidi Carlone

    Heidi Carlone

    Facilitator
    Distinguished Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 11:45 a.m.

    Hi Monica and Team,

    This is an ambitious project! What was the rationale for pairing JROTC and cybersecurity as a CS-related topic? Are there other kinds of CS-related skills/topics/etc that might be added on later? Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Icon for: Stephanie Wortel-London

    Stephanie Wortel-London

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Research
    May 13, 2021 | 11:32 a.m.

    Hi Heidi, Thank you for your question. The idea for the pairing originated with CSforALL, an organization devoted to ensuring that all kids get a high quality computing education as an integral part of their K-12 experience. The Air Force's JROTC program in high schools represents a significant pool of untapped tech talent, and is comprised of a highly diverse population–with a majority-minority student population and 40% of JROTC cadets being female, and JROTC is strongly represented in schools serving economically disadvantaged populations (over 50% Title 1 schools). Yet today, 68% of these students do not have access to AP computer science in their school.

    The pairing seemed like a great way to serve a highly diverse pool of students at scale across the country. Cybersecurity is a CS topic of great interest to the Air Force, and we see getting a CS toe hold in the 30 schools represented in this project as helping to build capacity in those schools to choose to offer additional CS-related skills and topics in the future.

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Heidi Carlone
  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    Co-Director
    May 12, 2021 | 12:42 p.m.

    Hi, 

       I'm interested in Heidi's questions, but have a couple of others.  First, what are the "capacity" variables you're looking at, and do you have a hypothesis going into the work about what key components of that capacity might be?  Second, I am not surprised that girls might show a greater gain in self-efficacy in a program like this, but do you have any idea what aspects of the program might be behind this positive impact?>

     

  • Icon for: Monica McGill

    Monica McGill

    Lead Presenter
    CEO&President / Assoc Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 02:00 p.m.

    Hi Brian, I'm picking up your second question and another team member will pick up your first. I think the first aspect of the Cyber Academy that made this possible was the focus on relationships and mentorships. In addition to the instructors, there were five dedicated undergraduate/graduate mentors and an Air Force captain who also served as cadet mentor/cheerleader/coral-er. Each cadet was assigned to a team with one of the mentors, and the teams were very carefully formed with recognition of their previous experience, gender, and race/ethnicity to help mitigate impostor phenomenon while also encouraging a "learn from each other" environment.  

    The second aspect that helped enable this was the cadets themselves. I believe their leadership and camaraderie experiences through JROTC enabled them to naturally create an atmosphere of team and unity. They wanted to learn and improve themselves and bring others along.

    The third aspect was the dedication of the entire team (e.g., instructors, Air Force colleagues, mentors, invited speakers, and those who helped administer the project). Everyone was very focused on bringing a quality program to a diverse group of cadets. There were a lot of discussions about how to shape the program so it enabled all students to learn, from recruitment and acceptance into the program all the way to the "graduation".

    Monica

  • Icon for: Stephanie Wortel-London

    Stephanie Wortel-London

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Research
    May 13, 2021 | 06:32 a.m.

    Hi Brian, Thank you for your questions. When we refer to the "capacity" aspects of the Capacity, Access, Participation, and Experience framework as it applies to the JROTC-CS Demonstration Project, we're talking about whether all professionals and facilities around the cadet learning have capacity to provide the high quality CS and Cybersecurity learning experience. In example, do the JROTC Instructors have a high level of guidance capacity to serve as tech career and course selection advisors to the cadets they serve? Do the teachers working in the 30 schools that serve the cadets have adequate capacity through high quality professional learning opportunities to deliver the CS course content? Do the administrators (principals) in these schools have capacity to offer support to these CS teachers, appropriate evaluation of instruction for these CS teachers, and supportive teacher leadership networks to continuously improve instruction?

  • Icon for: Daniel Damelin

    Daniel Damelin

    Facilitator
    Senior Scientist
    May 12, 2021 | 09:50 p.m.

    It sounds like there are two components to the project, integrating a CS experience, and measuring changes in schools using the CAPE framework, or is it more focused on student attitudes toward pursuing CS related fields? The framework seems to be oriented toward schools, but the description of the research also seems to include student outcomes. What data will be used to measure student outcomes?

  • Icon for: Monica McGill

    Monica McGill

    Lead Presenter
    CEO&President / Assoc Professor
    May 13, 2021 | 09:07 a.m.

    Great question! CAPE is actually an across-the-board framework to consider capacity to offer CS education all the way through the experiences of the students. As part of the latter, student self-efficacy, beliefs/attitudes, content knowledge, and intent to pursue additional courses, post-high school learning opportunities, and careers are all set to be measured. By measuring and studying the data from this broad of a perspective, we can begin to understand unique challenges that schools face in delivering an equity-based CS education and barriers that students from various subgroups face. 

  • Icon for: Dr. Julia V. Clark

    Dr. Julia V. Clark

    Facilitator
    Retired Federal Employee
    May 13, 2021 | 11:14 a.m.

    Engaging the JROTC students in experiences designed to increase their interest in pursuing cybersecurity and computer science , in my opinion, is a good idea, especially when the students are from diverse populations.  Both of these subjects are timely topics. In the Obama administration, he encouraged computer science for all in all of the classrooms.  I am intrigued by this project engaging these students in AP computer science. In the majority of the classrooms in the United States, most students of color are not provided the opportunity to enroll in AP courses. Perhaps this project will be transformative in that students other than ROTC students will be provided these experiences.

  • Icon for: Monica McGill

    Monica McGill

    Lead Presenter
    CEO&President / Assoc Professor
    May 14, 2021 | 07:17 p.m.

    Exactly. We're actually looking at both--the impact on the cadets involved, but also how it impacts the schools and how students who are not cadets become more engaged in computer science and cybersecurity. We're very excited about how this can impact underserved schools and students. Because every student does deserve the opportunity to learn computer science.

  • Icon for: Thomas Veague

    Thomas Veague

    Community Engagement Manager
    May 18, 2021 | 03:17 p.m.

    Hi Monica, 

    Thanks for sharing your video. It's exciting to see such an innovative approach to generating interest in computer science and cybersecurity, especially at underserved schools. Can't wait to see the results!

    (PS - Hi from a Knox alum)

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