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ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


The growing digital economy creates unprecedented demand for technical workers, especially those with both domain knowledge and technical skills. To meet this need, an ACBSS (Applied Computing for Behavioral and Social Sciences) minor degree has been developed by an interdisciplinary team of faculty at San José State University (SJSU). The minor degree comprises four courses: Python programming, algorithms and data structures, R programming, and culminating projects. The first ACBSS cohort started in Fall 2016 with 32 students, and the second cohort in Fall 2017 reached its capacity of 40 students, 62% of whom are female and 35% are underrepresented minority students. Considering ACBSS students’ interest in human behavior and society, pedagogical approaches using relevant examples and projects have been developed and integrated throughout the program. Preliminary assessments show that students appreciated learning programming skills with which to expand their career opportunities while gaining confidence in studying technical subjects. These results show that ACBSS, an interdisciplinary computing education program, offers a promising model in providing computing education to more diverse students for the 21st-century digital workplace.


© 2018 American Society for Engineering Education. This article originally appeared in the proceedings of the 2018 ASEE Annual Conference, and can also be found online at this link.