The mission of the Empowering Leadership: Computing Scholars of Tomorrow Alliance (EL Alliance) is to increase the number of students from groups with long-standing underrepresentation that receive undergraduate and graduate degrees in the computing disciplines.
Minority undergraduate and graduate scholars in the
computing disciplines in the U.S. are faced with multiple challenges.
All too few and far between, they are scattered among research
institutions where they not only experience the pressures of university
life, similar to all of their fellow students, but they are often
the only minority student in their classes, or one of very few. Their
network of formal and informal resources, support, and encouragement, so
critical to all students, is significantly smaller, and less robust.
Add to that the possibility of having come from a high school that did
not prepare them well, and losing this student, a priceless human
resource, becomes a serious possibility. Students faced with these
challenges make choices to leave their computing departments for more
welcoming environments or to leave college altogether. Even those that
graduate with a bachelor’s degree in computing may have had such a
painful journey that they are highly unlikely to consider graduate
school, and another opportunity for diversifying the professoriate and
national leadership has been lost.
ELA's primary goal is to support and retain more minority students in Computer/Information Science, and Engineering (CISE) disciplines and support them as they pursue graduate studies in CISE disciplines.
- Increased retention of minority undergraduate students through graduation.
- Provision of relevant encouragement, education, support and preparation for graduate education.
- Increased interest and enrollment in graduate school.
- Increased opportunities for career enhancement and advancement through direct linkages with some of the country’s most powerful and well-positioned individuals and institutions in computing that have an explicit charge and commitment to ensuring the success of minority scholars in computing.