Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements and responsibilities of being a student leader? How many student leaders can there be?

Student leaders take charge in planning and designing the igniteCS mentorship program for their school, and are the direct contacts for the Google igniteCS team. They liaise closely with the undergraduate student mentors, their advisor, and partner organization. There can be as many mentors as you would like in the planning and designing of your igniteCS mentorship program, but we recommend at least two student leaders to share the organizational responsibilities, one upperclassman and one underclassman.

Can graduate students apply?

Graduate students may be among student mentors listed, but they do not count toward the five undergraduate student minimum requirement. We encourage interested graduate students to partner with undergraduates in creating a meaningful igniteCS program in their local communities.

I am a faculty member. Can I author the application on behalf of my students?

Faculty advisors may not fill out the application form. Students must apply directly. We do however encourage faculty involvement throughout the application process and program.

Are we required to use specific instructional methods, tools, or resources (e.g. problem-based learning, Scratch, Google products, etc)?

No. The design and implementation of your igniteCS program is completely up to your individual group. While we provide guidance and resources you may choose to use, how you decide to teach and engage with your mentees will be determined by your group.

What is the required mentor to mentee ratio?

We prefer a mentor to mentee ratio of 1:1 or 1:2, but this is not a requirement. If you have questions when crafting your application about your mentor to mentee ratio, feel free to reach out to us.

What does it mean to "have a primary goal of fostering an inclusive environment for underrepresented undergraduate students and mentees in CS?"

There are a few phrases to unpack here, so let's take them one at a time. To "have a primary goal of..." means that it is a main tenet of your program, and you will not feel successful if it's not achieved, while "fostering an inclusive environment" means going beyond allowing different kinds of students to participate to actively encouraging students from underrepresented backgrounds. What do we mean by "underrepresented undergraduate students and mentees"? This refers to student groups that do not traditionally participate in CS at rates comparable to others. For computer science this includes, but is not limited to: women, Aboriginal Canadians, African Americans, Alaskan Natives, Black Canadians, Hispanics, Latinos, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, those with physical or mental disabilities, first generation college students, individuals from low socio-economic backgrounds and/or individuals who identify as LGBT.

What is a Google email address?

A Google email address is one that ends in @gmail.com or is linked to a Google account (e.g. if your college or university manages campus-wide student accounts through Google). If you do not have a Google email address, you can create one here.

Do I need to fill out all of the templates included in the application?

Using the templates to provide your answers is strongly recommended, but not required. If you choose not to use the templates and use a different format, please still provide the same content requested.

How soon will I hear back on the status of my application?

We aim to contact you about funding your program via email about two weeks after the close of the application period. If you don't hear back from us within this timeframe, reach out to us and we'll check the status.

If I don't get awarded igniteCS funding this cycle, can I apply again next year?

Yes! You can apply to igniteCS once per funding cycle, and apply to as many cycles as you'd like. If you do not receive funding the first time you apply, we encourage you to reach out to us prior to applying in the next cycle.