Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Residential Academic Program — Fostering Inclusion by Engaging in Real-world Computing Education (FIERCE)

In the 2022-2023 academic year, FIERCE participants will live in the Orchard Hil Residential Area.

The Fostering Inclusion by Engaging in Real-world Computing Education (FIERCE) Residential Academic Program (RAP) is a living-learning community for first-year computer science and informatics students in the Manning College of Infomation and Computer Sciences (CICS) that provides opportunities to honor, foster, and sustain support networks among people of diverse genders and their allies. The goal is that this inclusive RAP feels particularly welcoming to cis women, trans women, trans men, non-binary people, and their allies.  


In addition to having easy access for making friends and finding study partners with peers taking similar classes, FIERCE residents expand skills outside of the classroom through additional social, academic, and professional programs. Residents will also learn practical, real-world computing tips and tricks from faculty and industry experts in optional Saturday workshops. Students in this RAP will have unique opportunities for discussions with visiting speakers who are computing professionals representing diverse genders. Living in a RAP feels empowering, with residents building community while connecting with CICS faculty, peer mentors, and industry professionals. 

FIERCE residents will have access to: 

  • A 1-credit First-Year Seminar 
  • A special section of COMPSCI 121: Introduction to Problem Solving with Computers 
  • Tutoring and group study sessions
  • Opportunities to engage with professionals from the tech field 
  • Peer mentoring, career exploration, special presentations, and more!

HackHer413 students talking


FIERCE residents will have opportunities to participate in a variety of evening and weekend programming designed to build community, expand tech skills, and have fun, including: 

  • Social events around the Amherst area, such as bowling and axe throwing
  • Community dinners
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Field trips to visit technology workplaces 
  • Empowerment workshops

Who Should Apply 

FIERCE is open to all first-year computer science and informatics students passionate about creating inclusivity in CICS and the computing field. We particularly encourage applications from women, transgender, non-binary, and ally students. 

Students working together in a team-based learning classroom

To Apply 

For more information and to apply to join FIERCE, visit the UMass Amherst Residential Academic Programs website.