I went to college between 2006-2010. I learned computer science with Java. I struggled and afterward thought Python would have been a much better introductory language to computer science. I see colleges are moving more towards students starting with Python. How's that working out? Are students catching on faster with Python?
Some people believe that Python is helping with retention (keeping students in programs) because it's frankly easier to get started with. There's less boilerplate and it resembles more the pseudocode they may see in a text book than the C-family of languages including Java. It also has a very rich ecosystem and beginner friendly community. I would be interested in seeing some empirical studies about how it's affected retention, but I'm not immediately aware of that. But you're right—it's definitely a trend. I saw a chart a couple years ago showing half of the top 40 CS programs in the US have switched to Python for the first course.