Providing near-peer mentorship to increase underrepresented minority youth participation in computing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Literature shows that mentors and role-models directly affect young students' self-efficacy and motivation to pursue specific academic fields and careers. To explore this further, this chapter describes a free, 9-Saturday programming camp for middle school students with near-peer mentors (first year, college student instructors) and local guest speakers. This camp served 28 underrepresented minority students (17 boys and 11 girls; grades 5-7) from a low-income, urban area. In a pre-camp survey, the middle school students predominately reported not having any role-models or mentors in computing. However, when asked again on the final camp day, these same students indicated developing strong connections with their near-peer mentors and even saw these older students and guest speakers, as role-models. These results highlight the need for young, underrepresented minority students to have more opportunities to interact with potential mentors and role-models, and the importance of providing resources to help develop and nurture these connections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Equity in Computer Science in P-16 Education
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781799847403
ISBN (Print)9781799847397
StatePublished - Nov 13 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Computer Science


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