Obstacles Faced by International Asian Students when Pursuing Degrees in Computer Science

YIMIN YAN, ZIWEI WANG, MATTHEW CHAPMAN, and MICHAEL E. COTTERELL, University of Georgia, USA
CSCI 4960 & CSCI 6950 Spring 2020


Abstract

In recent years, an increasing number of international asian students (IASs) have come to the United States to pursue undergraduate degrees in Computer Science (CS). The percentage of students who receive a grade of D or F or who withdraw (DFW rate) among all undergraduate CS students is 59%. Anecdotal evidence observed by the authors suggests that there are unique obstacles faced by the IAS sub-population within the DFW group. The primary factors that contribute to the general DFW rate vary, but issues such as language barriers and cultural differences may significantly impact IASs in CS. To measure the impact of these issues, a survey of undergraduate students at a four-year university will be conducted. The sub-populations of interest are IASs and non-IASs who are currently taking or have taken a CS course as a requirement for their major or intended major. Data ascertained from the survey will be used to fit an ANOVA model to test the impact of different issues among and within groups. The results are expected to show that some obstacles exist that uniquely impact the academic performance of IASs pursuing degrees in CS. This study will lead to a better understanding of the obstacles faced by IASs, thus providing potential insight into how to decrease the overall DFW rate and broaden overall participation in CS.

CCS Concepts: Social and Professional Topics → Computing Education; Computer Science Education