As countries turn in to Smart Nations, Infocom Technology plays a key role in enhancing their competitiveness through high skilled workforces. Reaching to younger generations and attracting them to computing programs such as Information Systems (IS) and Computer Science (CS) is a key challenge faced by universities. Many high-quality students from junior colleges either don't choose IS programs or choose IS programs as their last option during the application process. A school of Information Systems (SIS) from a large metropolitan university decided to implement an innovative outreach program to attract high quality high school aka Junior College (JC) students. JC or high school students are those in 2-year program that transfers them to the 4-year university degree. In this project, we took a design thinking approach which enabled us to analyse the output of each stage of the design thinking process and make informed decisions for implementation. Our empathy stage showed that only 5% of top JC students were aware of Information Systems and we attribute this as the root cause of low numbers and quality of applications into IS schools. With empathy study and analysis, we ideated and implemented an innovative camp to bring awareness of IS to JC students. A team of twenty-nine faculty and staff worked on a project for twelve months and we have seen significant improvements in the number and quality of applications. This paper provides useful insights into using design thinking to re-engineer student outreach programs that can enhance the number and quality of applicants to a university program. We share the methodology, the details of each stage, and the outcomes of each stage.
GOTTIPATI, Swapna; SHANKARARAMAN, Venky; and Megargel, Alan, "APPLYPING DESIGN THINKING TO STUDENT OUTREACH PROJECTS: EXPERIENCES FROM AN INFORMATION SYSTEMS SCHOOL" (2018). Proceedings of the 2018 AIS SIGED International Conference on Information Systems Education and Research. 11.