This is a quick update on the activities of the SIGCSE Committee on Computing Education in Liberal Arts Colleges and a heads up for a (hopefully) upcoming event that will (hopefully) be of interest to many of you.
As noted in a previous e-mail to this list the Report of the SIGCSE Committee on Computing Education in the Liberal Arts<https://doi.org/10.1145/3314027> (https://doi.org/10.1145/3314027) appeared in the June edition of Inroads. That report is the culmination of the first several years of this committee's work and has firmly established the need for an on-going organization with two broad purposes:
1. Providing a framework within which the liberal arts computing community can support and strengthen itself— for example, organizing meetings and virtual spaces in which members of the community can network; conducting and publishing studies of the community.
2. Representing the liberal arts computing community to others—for example, working to ensure accurate perceptions of liberal arts computing among employers, graduate schools, potential faculty, and future students; providing a liberal education voice on curriculum task forces and similar bodies.
To that end the SIGCSE Board has approved an updated charter for our committee<https://tinyurl.com/yyvbd83m> (https://tinyurl.com/yyvbd83m) that shifts from establishing the need for an organization to working toward establishing one that serves the above broad purposes. Under its new charge this committee will "continue its work by proposing a structure for and establishing such a permanent liberal arts computing organization. The committee will also continue to facilitate communication and collaboration within the liberal arts computing community in the interest of supporting its identified needs.”
As a first step in this direction we are proposing a pre-symposium workshop focused on computing education in the liberal arts to take place at SIGCSE 2020 in Portland. The tentative plan is to invite members of this community to present on innovative and uniquely liberal arts curricula and to then facilitate discussion of unique challenges and opportunities for computing education in the liberal arts. Additional details and a call for participation (both for presenter and for topics of discussion) will come to this list and the broader SIGCSE community if/when that event is accepted by the conference committee.
In support of the mentioned pre-symposium event, and other future committee events, we have been exploring funding sources to help offset the costs of organizing, hosting and attending these events (e.g. space and coffee break costs, hotel costs for participants, etc). We are currently working on a few leads (Sloan Foundation, NSF), but if you know of other organizations that may be interested in supporting our efforts we would welcome suggestions or pointers.
We hope that you will be as excited as we are about the future of this community and will join us in helping to shape and build this new organization. We will continue to use this mailing list to keep you informed about opportunities to get involved, but please feel free to reach out to any of the committee facilitators with ideas you have for future events and direction for our community as well.
The SIGCSE Committee on Computing Education in Liberal Arts Colleges
Amanda Holland-Minkley, Washington and Jefferson College
Grant Braught, Dickinson College
Janet Davis, Whitman College
Doug Baldwin, SUNY Geneseo
Henry Walker, Grinnell College