Whereas researchers regard high school math and science coursework as the best indicator of college readiness for students in the United States, computer science coursework and its relationship to college attendance, particularly for minoritized students, have not received due attention despite its root in the mathematical and scientific reasoning ability. We examined students’ high school course completion patterns across subjects and grade levels with a special focus on elective computer science courses and whether the coursework pattern transitions worked differently for minoritized students in Texas, USA. Latent profile analysis and latent transition analysis revealed multiple patterns of coursework, including Regular, Trailing, and Computer Science-Intensive. However, high school students seemed to attempt computer science courses with an experimental attitude. High school girls, low-income, and Latinx and African American students were less likely to complete computer science courses, despite demonstrating a similar coursework pattern in the previous year. Similarly, students with limited English proficiency, those eligible for free- or reduced-price lunch programs, and Native American students systematically have a lower chance to attend college, despite sufficient academic preparation in high school. Findings highlight the challenges minoritized students face and how students approach elective computer science courses in high school.
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