Transfer Student Receptivity in Patriarchal STEM Contexts: Evidence of Gendered Transfer Student Stigma in Computer Science From a Mixed Methods Study

Jennifer M. Blaney, Theresa E. Hernandez, David F. Feldon, Annie M. Wofford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research Questions: While community college transfer (i.e., upward transfer) represents an important mechanism for advancing equity across STEM fields, existing studies of gender and women’s participation within computer science have largely excluded the perspectives of upward transfer students. We address this gap in the literature by exploring transfer receptivity and gender discrimination within computer science, guided by the following questions: (1) How do upward transfer computer science students report their receptivity experiences, and how might this differ by gender? (2) How do upward transfer computer science students make meaning of receptivity experiences, and how might that meaning making be shaped by gender? Methods: We use a sequential mixed methods design, relying on longitudinal survey and interview data from upward transfer computer science majors, collected throughout students’ first year at the receiving university. Results: Findings reveal that, relative to men, upward transfer women report greater experiences of transfer stigma and challenges accessing resources at the receiving university. Qualitative findings document additional nuances in how upward transfer students—especially women—describe resilience as they navigate the university campus, encounter navigation challenges at the university, and make meaning of various manifestations of transfer stigma on campus. Contributions: In addition to implications for research and theory, we discuss what universities can do to foster a more receptive environment for upward transfer women. Specific recommendations focus on ensuring that spaces for women in computing are inclusive of transfer students and, likewise, creating supportive transfer cohort communities that are inclusive of women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCommunity College Review
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • STEM
  • computer science
  • gender
  • mixed methods
  • upward transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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