University of Pittsburgh
July 26, 2006

Program Created by Pitt Undergraduate Helps Underrepresented Students Master Technology

Inaugural summer institute comprises 25 students from 16 local high schools
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—Degrees earned by disadvantaged students make up a disproportionately tiny fraction of all computer science degrees awarded each year. This summer, the University of Pittsburgh is piloting a program to help underrepresented high school students succeed in that field.

 

Developed by Pitt undergraduate Tonya Groover, the Technology Leadership Institute (TLI) is a free, six-week academic enrichment program for high school students that helps them build the knowledge and skills necessary to gain admission into competitive college computer science programs.

 

Groover, a Pitt senior computer science and sociology major who is founder and director of the program, says her goal was to promote an interest in and awareness of computer science as a career option among traditionally underserved student populations. "I strongly believe the African proverb 'It takes a village to raise a child,'" said Groover. "It is important that as a community we provide opportunities, exposure, and encouragement for the next generation."

The 25 student participants come from 16 local high schools and range from freshmen to seniors.

 

Sponsored by Arts and Sciences and the school's Department of Computer Science, the program includes field trips to places such as the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, coursework on Web design and basic computer science, advice on applying to college, math tutoring, and technology-based service learning.

 

A closing ceremony showcasing the students' projects will take place at 6 p.m. July 27 in Pitt's Public Health Auditorium, G23 Parran Hall, 130 De Soto St., Oakland.

 

More information on the TLI is available at www.cs.pitt.edu/tli.