LEAP Alliance

LEAP Alliance

Current Program

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The LEAP Alliance is an NSF-funded Broadening Participation in Computing Alliance focused on diversifying future leadership in the computing professoriate at research universities as a way to increase diversity across the field of computing.  The problem we address is stark and straightforward:  a very small percentage of the faculty (tenured, tenure-track, teaching, research, instructors) at PhD-granting universities are from the following underrepresented communities:  Black or African-American, Hispanic, or American Indian or Alaska Native (CRA Taulbee Report)

Our solution is equally stark and straightforward:  we intentionally bring together four cohorts of universities, with each cohort having common strengths and a common agenda to diversity future leadership in the computing professoriate.   The four cohorts provide a comprehensive solution that covers undergraduate students and graduate students.

The LEAP Alliance is focused on four communities that are historically underrepresented in computing:

    • African Americans
    • Hispanics
    • Native Americans/Indigenous Americans
    • People with Disabilities

The shared purposed and broad vision of the LEAP Alliance is to increase faculty diversity in computing by three main approaches:

    • Increase the diversity of PhD graduates from institutions that are the top producers of computing faculty (based upon data from Jeff Huang) – Cohort 1 and Cohort 2
    • Increase the exposure of academic careers at institutions that already have good diversity in their PhD graduates (based upon IPEDS data) – Cohort 3
    • Increase the retention of diverse undergraduate students at the institutions that send students to graduate school that go on to be faculty (based upon data from Jeff Huang) – Cohort 4

LEAP Alliance Cohorts

Cohort 1

  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Cornell University
  • Georgia Tech
  • Harvard University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Princeton University
  • Stanford University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Texas
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Washington

Cohort 3

  • Syracuse University
  • Tennesse State University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • University of COlorado Boulder
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • University of North Texas

Cohort 2

  • California Institute of Technology
  • Columbia University
  • Purdue University
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Michigan
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Yale University

Cohort 4

  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Cornell University
  • Georgia Tech
  • Harvard University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Princeton University
  • Stanford University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Washington

The LEAP Alliance was launched with only Cohort 1 with funding from an NSF INCLUDES demonstration grant, HRD-1806229 (2017 – 2020) and a grant from the Sloan Foundation (2019 – 2022). The LEAP Alliance is led by Valerie Taylor (University of Chicago) and Charles Isbell (Georgia Tech). Stafford Hood and Denice Hood (UIUC-CREA) oversee the evaluation. The LEAP Alliance also received funding from Google (2020-2022) for dissertation fellowships.

For questions regarding the LEAP Alliance, please send us a message by selecting “LEAP Alliance” for the subject on our contact us page.