Seems to me it's time to start talking about whether the SIGCSE liberal
arts committee wants to do another survey, and if so what should be in it.
Grant's survey last summer mainly concentrated on what computing programs
look like at liberal arts colleges represented on this committee. The notes
from SIGCSE 2017 suggest that there is a lot of interest in program
profiles, so we might want to expand that study to a larger population.
Other interests I saw in the SIGCSE notes that might merit collecting data
- Faculty profiles (how many faculty, at what ranks, salaries,
- Research expectations (expectations for tenure/promotion, involvement of
students in research, opportunities to publish, opportunities to
- Student profiles (majors of students in CS courses, enrollments, student
ages or class years, differences in patterns between intro and other
courses, changes in patterns over time, etc.)
- Other program/curriculum aspects (frequency of course offerings, teaching
loads, online vs face-to-face, service to other programs or gen ed, etc.)
- External relations (how other units on campus view CS, how CS programs at
other kinds of institution view liberal arts, how employers view liberal
arts CS, etc.)
Data related to some of these things may already be available, e.g., from
ACM's NDC survey, from CRA's Taulbee, there might be US Dept. of Education
databases, etc. Conceivably some of this has been covered in other
literature, too, although I'm not optimistic that much of it has.
So how do you feel? Should we start putting together another survey? If so,
what exactly should it ask? If not, what other ideas do you have about
getting a more comprehensive and objective understanding of issues facing
liberal arts CS programs than we have already? Do we need a "more
comprehensive and objective understanding"?