Transfer-Intending Women in Computing: An Exploratory Analysis of Trends, Characteristics, and Experiences Shaping Women’s Computing Participation

Jennifer M. Blaney, Sarah L. Rodriguez, Amanda R. Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Community college transfer pathways are critical for advancing gender equity in STEM. Yet, community college students are often ignored within studies of women’s participation in undergraduate computing. In a first effort to address this gap in the literature, this paper explores the composition of transfer-intending computing students over time (Study One) and gender differences in the characteristics and experiences of transfer-intending computing students (Study Two). Methods: This descriptive paper uses Center for Community College Student Engagement (CCCSE) survey data. Study One relies on a sample of nearly 30,000 transfer aspirants in computing across the United States between 2011 and 2019, allowing us to explore trends over time. Study Two examines a subset of over 9,000 students from the most recent survey cohort, providing a more nuanced snapshot of transfer-intending computing students. Descriptive statistics were used to examine how student experiences differ by gender and race/ethnicity. Results: Study One findings show that women’s representation among transfer-intending computing students has declined over time. Study Two results reveal that, relative to men, women spend more time caregiving, commuting, studying, in student groups, and utilizing advising services, pointing to unique demands on women’s time. We also identify significant differences in how Black and Indigenous women financed their college, relative to other women. Conclusions: While women are underrepresented among transfer-intending computing students, they represent a diverse group to support. We point to recommendations for policy and practice to support transfer-intending women in STEM and future research that considers intersectional identities among this diverse group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-259
Number of pages29
JournalCommunity College Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2024


  • STEM
  • computing
  • gender
  • transfer pathways

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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