Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Curriculum and Instruction

Document Type



This study aimed to understand the identity and attitude of students enrolled in computer science (CS) or programming-related course at community colleges nationwide. This study quantitatively evaluation data for estimating the relationships between students’ identity and attitudes toward computer science with prior programming experience and other demographic factors. I distributed the survey to community college faculty of computer science programs nationwide. Questions for this study were adapted from the Computing Attitude Survey developed by Weibe, Williams, Yang, & Miller (2003). Using two robust quantitative statistical methodologies, I investigated the correlations and predictability of previous programming experience, gender, race, and age with participants' attitudes toward computer science. This study drew its inspiration from prior works of Dorn and Tew (2015) and Chen, Haduong, Brennan, Sonnert, and Sadler (2018), whose studies looked at previous experiences in programming with a favorable attitude toward computer science. The primary independent variable was a students’ prior programming experience. Under evaluation, the dependent variables were students' programming experience and demographic characteristics such as race, gender, and age. This investigation showed a significant association between programming experience and attitude toward computer science. Among the demographic variables evaluated, students' racial identity was the only factor found highly correlated with attitudes toward computer science. Future work will consider the association between participants' accumulated college credit hours and specific programming language effects on computer science attitudes.

Committee Chair

Tobin, Kerri