Technical Reports (CIS)

Document Type

Technical Report

Date of this Version



University of Pennsylvania Department of Computer and Information Science Technical Report No. MS-CIS-12-16.


The Emerging Scholars Program (ESP) in Computer Science is a Peer Led Team Learning (PLTL) approach to bringing undergraduates new to the discipline together with peer mentors to work on computational problems, and to expose them to the broad array of disciplines within computer science. This program demonstrates that computer science is necessarily a collaborative activity that focuses more on problem solving and algorithmic thinking than on programming. In spring 2012 the computer science department at an urban research university university completed the 9th iteration of ESP, with 104 women and 36 men completing the program. Our evaluation data indicates that ESP increased enrollment in the computer science major. 47% of students who took ESP along with the introduction to computer programming course at the university study site during this study majored in computer science. In addition, survey results indicated that a large majority of students intended to take another computer science course, were enthusiastic about the program, and found the workshop topics exciting and engaging. Participants reported that they learned more about computer science in ESP, and would recommend ESP to others.



Date Posted: 20 September 2012