June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
Women in Engineering
15.255.1 - 15.255.14
CalWomenTech Project: Recruiting and Retaining Women in Technology Programs
The CalWomenTech Project is being highlighted by NSF following an expert panel review at the three year mark in December 2008 for demonstrating significant achievement and program effectiveness to the Committee for Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) Performance Assessment, where it has also been very well received. Project outcomes show that colleges that proactively recruit women into their technology programs will show a significant increase in the percentage of women students in those programs in a little over a year. Of the four community colleges participating in the
timelines experienced a significant increase in women in targeted programs: City College of San Francisco (CCSF) Computer Networking and Information Technology (CNIT) program went from 18% to 30% female students and San Diego Mesa College eographic Information Systems program rose from 35% to 50% female.
The retention strategies implemented by CalWomenTech colleges have also led to a significant net increase in the completion rates of not only females, but also males, in several of the colleges. Both colleges that saw the largest increases in female completion rates, from 81% to 100% in 15 months (San Diego Mesa College) and from 57% to 100% in 9 months (Evergreen Valley College), also saw a 20% increase in male retention. CCSF CNIT program saw a significant improvement to completion rates after repeated focus on retention with both full-time and adjunct faculty. Female baseline completion rates increased from 64% in 2006/2007 to 90% in spring 2009. CCSF
In addition to providing an overview of proven CalWomenTech recruitment and retention strategies and the online CalWomenTech tools available to all educators, the paper also shares the newly compiled results from surveys of 60 female students in technology courses in which they are underrepresented and describes how the results have been used to evaluate and inform recruitment and retention strategies employed by the colleges.
CalWomenTech Project Model
The intent of this NSF initiative is to broaden the participation of girls and women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education. In particular, the extension services are
proven gender-inclusive policies and practices in pedagogy, the design of curriculum materials, The first goal of the CalWomenTech Project is to increase the number of women enrolled and retained in STEM education in the eight selected CalWomenTech community colleges. The second goal is to institutionalize gender equity strategies in each participating college to make sure that the successful recruitment and retention strategies are used beyond the life of the project. The third goal is to illustrate to the California and national community college system that STEM gender
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