Posted: Sun, 11/11/2018 - 21:02
This year, I was very aggressive in my recruiting of students into CS clubs. The enrollment in Cyber Patriots quadrupled. This included 8 girls in a club that has never had a girl join! I also started an Art & Tech club which drew more girls. Since I am a magnet school on a campus that has 75% eco-dys. students, it was important to me that I recruit students from both campuses. So, through my efforts, we were also able to get about 4 students from that campus as well. This was unprecedented, as these students have never joined a club from the magnet school. (I think this is due to not being aware of the clubs or familiar with the teacher. So, I did a lot of personal recruiting, begging teachers to run the video I sent them, and showing up in other classes to talk about the clubs.)
OK, so those are the wins.
But now, mid-November, I am seeing about half the students drop out or not attend. In Cyber Patriots, this can be a very negative effect since the team has a hard time being prepared when most of the team is not attending practices regularly. In the Art &Tech club which is more exploring based, this means the students are not bonding with each other and enthusiasm is waning. I am losing students to sports, to stress over other classes, to forgetfulness, to things out of their control like parents work, schedules, or to be afraid it would be too hard for them
So, when it comes to CS clubs how do you retain involvement from students?
Is this just to be expected?
Ideas, advice, or just plain commiseration all welcome!