Capacity. Quality. Diversity.

A vision for addressing capacity, quality, and diversity in California’s CS higher ed pipeline.

Challenges in the Computer Science higher education pipeline


Enrollment in CS programs across the country is growing rapidly, which is a good thing. However, capacity in higher education institutions has not kept pace with demand. This is particularly true in terms of acquiring the needed teaching talent. In programs that are stretched too thin, quality suffers and/or admissions limits are imposed.


Community colleges and regional public universities, also known as open-access institutions, are disproportionally impacted by limited resources, the lack of teaching talent, and a minimal connection with industry. This all results in fewer opportunities for the graduates coming from these institutions to be better prepared and competitive.


A significantly higher percentage of first generation, low income, and underserved students attend open access institutions. Because of the capacity and quality challenges that are more prominent in these institutions, these students frequently don’t have a clear pathway through a CS program and into the tech industry.

CTI Aims to Address These Challenges

The proposed Computing Talent Initiative (CTI) will serve students in California’s CS higher ed system with the aim of getting more and more diverse students through graduation and into the high paying tech jobs that result in upward economic mobility. CTI will connect students and faculty from California Community College, CSUs and UCs, with tech industry organizations and professionals.

In the next 5 years, CTI will focus on…

Establishing a Hub

where students, faculty, tech industry companies and professionals can engage in training, mentorship, and job/internship matching, as well as other activities related to student preparation for entering the tech workforce.

Building at least 5 demonstration sites

where a community college and state university partner to provide extra support and streamline the pathway from entry through job placement for the URM, first-generation, and low-income students who are most at-risk of dropping out of the pipeline.

Collecting and analyzing specific CCC, CSU, and UC data

that will help paint a more precise picture of the demand and capacity challenges facing CS higher education in California.

Where does the vision for CTI come from?

Cal State Monterey Bay and Hartnell College have worked together for 10 years to address some of the challenges facing CS higher ed at a local level. At the crux of this work is the development of a cohort-based bachelor’s degree model that has resulted in significant increases in community college to university transfer, graduation, and job placement rates, particularly with first-generation, URM, and female students.

The vision and design for CTI comes directly out of the experiences and lessons learned from implementing the cohort program. CTI’s proposed demonstration sites will support other California Community College to CSU/UC partnerships in replicating aspects of the cohort program model. The CTI Hub will unbundle and modify the CSUMB/Hartnell efforts wherever possible so that they can be offered at scale to CS higher ed students throughout California.

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