Community Engaged Scholars in CS

Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of San Francisco

What's Included

Posted Monday Apr 17, 2023

The CES|CS program is more than just scholarship funding; it includes a suite of activities designed to both promote community engagement as well as support the academic and professional success of the scholars.

For scholars joining the program as incoming first-year students the program looks as follows. Continuing students awarded scholarships after beginning their study at USF will join an in-progress cohort. Funding provided and activities required will be commensurate with the class year of the scholar when joining the program.

Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4

$8,125 Scholarship

$8,125 Scholarship

$8,125 Scholarship

$8,125 Scholarship

$1,000 Conference Funding (Year 3 or 4)

Faculty Mentoring

Faculty Mentoring

Faculty Mentoring

Faculty Mentoring

Cohort Enrollment

Cohort Enrollment

Alumni Mentoring



Career Prep

Service Learning (Year 3 or 4)


Each scholar will receive up to $4,062.50 per semester for up to four years.

These scholarships are in addition to any financial aid or scholarships you have already received. The scholarships will be disbursed directly into scholars’ student account before the tuition deadline through the Office of Financial Aid. After funds are applied to scholars’ expenses (tuition, fees, room, board, and any applicable fees charged to the student’s account), any remaining funds may be disbursed to the scholar.

To be eligible for continued support, scholars must remain enrolled full-time in the Computer Science major, achieve both major and overall GPAs above 3.0, continue to qualify as low income, and participate in all required program activities. All activities listed on this page are required except the cohort enrollment, which is not required but strongly encouraged.

Scholars that fail to meet the funding requirements for a semester will be placed on probation. Scholars that fail to meet the requirements for two consecutive semesters will not be eligible to renew the scholarship.

Other Funding

In addition to the scholarships, the CES|CS program also funds up to $1,000 per scholar to support travel to conferences such as Grace Hopper and Tapia. The program also funds the scholars’ participation in the head start program. This includes one week of on-campus housing and a meal plan, as well as any field trip costs.

The CS Department and College of Arts and Sciences also provides additional funding opportunities for students to attend conferences. Scholars may apply for these opportunities to support additional travel.


Scholars are expected to participate in the following activities. All of the activities are required, except for cohort enrollment which is strongly encouraged.

Summer Head Start

Scholars will participate in a one week on-campus head start program prior to the start of their first year. Specifically, scholars will move into their dormitories one week early and participate in day-long sessions with faculty and guest lecturers introducing campus and departmental resources, technical foundations, and the resources available from the technical community in the SF Bay area. Students will also participate in a weekend field trip to familiarize them with the San Francisco area.

The scholarship program covers the one week of additional housing costs and meal plan associated with the early arrival.

Scholars that are also part of another early arrival residential program like the Muscat Scholars or BASE will be able to still participate in those programs.

Cohort Enrollment

The scholars will be strongly encouraged to enroll in the same sections of the required CS major courses taken during the first and second years. This usually includes the following CS courses:

And this usually includes the following Math courses required for the CS major:

Scholars will not be required to enroll in courses they already received credit for via transfer credit or AP tests.

Faculty Mentoring

Scholars will have a dedicated faculty mentor from the core team. Scholars will initially meet their mentors during the Community Engaged CS (CECS) course in the first semester, and once per semester after that (either in person or virtually).

All CS majors are automatically assigned an academic advisor from the department. Scholars may request their dedicated faculty mentor also serves as their academic advisor.

Alumni Mentoring

In addition to a faculty mentor, each scholar will also be paired with an alumnus mentor in their junior year. These alumni mentors will offer the scholars advice on preparing for a career in technology. Scholars will first meet their mentors at an in-person networking event during the Career Prep course and will meet with their mentors twice monthly during the junior year (in person or virtually).

There is also a university-wide alumni mentor program that is open to all students. Scholars may choose to participate in both programs if they wish.


Scholars are also expected to enroll in the following coursework. These courses count towards the general graduation requirements for scholars.

Specifically, all students must complete a minimum of 128 credit hours to graduate. Of these, 44 credits make up the core curriculum for all undergraduates regardless of major. The CS major is another 52 credits. These courses count towards the remaining 32 additional credits that students must take to graduate.

Scholars will be given registration priority for these courses. A small number of other CS majors will also be able to enroll in these courses.

Community Engaged CS

Scholars will take a two unit CS course that provides a structured opportunity to learn about and participate in activities in the departmental and local technical communities. The course will feature activities including faculty research talks; presentations by the campus career center and similar organizations; field trips to local meetup events; and opportunities for the scholars to socialize and build relationships with one another.

Career Prep

Scholars will take a two unit CS course focused on career preparedness. The course will provide guidance on applying for internships and full-time jobs; prepare students with resume guidance and mock interviews; and prepare students to attend a technical conference using the support provided by this award. The course also provides a structured opportunity to engage in the local bay area technical community via a day-long technical trek to local tech companies.

Service Learning

Scholars will complete a CS ~~service~~ **community-engaged** learning course that applies their technical knowledge to solve a real-world problem in their own community. Scholars will be paired with a community partner who they work with directly on a relevant project. Example projects include implementing a web application; designing a new network deployment; writing software for data analysis; or offering coding workshops for middle school girls.